Northwest State Community College celebrated the 2018 graduating class at its forty-eighth Commencement Ceremony this past weekend. The ceremony recognized 400 graduates who completed an associate degree or certificate program with the College during fall, spring or summer term. Rainy conditions forced the College to move the ceremonies indoors to the Voinovich Auditorium, where two ceremonies were held to properly acknowledge the large group of graduates.
Dr. Michael Thomson, NSCC president, first took a moment to honor President Emeritus Dr. Larry McDougle and Dr. Tom Stuckey, former NSCC president who will be elevated to President Emeritus on July 1. Dr. Thomson noted the countless hours of service both men poured in to the College.
Dr. Thomson went on to congratulate the graduating class, remarking, “I commend you for your dedication and persistence that have led to this remarkable achievement. You balanced work, family and other obligations in order to complete your education. You not only rise to meet life’s many challenges, you thrive and overcome them.”
Page Doornbos was the student speaker selected. Doornbos shared a very personal story about the circumstances that brought her to northwest Ohio and about how fear plays a part in all of our lives. She noted that she was reluctant to explore a new career nearing the age of 30, but those closest to her encouraged her to believe in herself and pursue her goals.
She then related fear to the graduating class, saying, “Think back to this day – this very minute – and remember how you felt getting dressed to come here today. This is where that fear pushed you to. Don’t worry about being scared. Worry about not being scared. If it’s easy, is it really worth it?”
Doornbos earned an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing. She is a member of the Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society, and she also recently received the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Northwest Ohio Nurse’s Association.
Keynote speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony was Tony Geftos, senior reporter and co-anchor for WTVG 13abc. Geftos, a two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, lauded the graduates for their achievements. He noted, “You’re here today because you have already challenged yourselves. You’re here today because you already inspire others. You’re here today because you already lead by example, even if you don’t realize it. That’s why I’m here today: to challenge you to be lifelong learners.” Geftos went above and beyond for the unique occasion, creating two separate keynote speeches for the dual ceremonies.
Following the recognition of the graduates, NSCC Vice President for Academics Lori Robison announced Sydney Critten and Haley Oehler as the recipients of the President’s Outstanding Student Award. Critten graduated Summa Cum Laude with an Associate of Applied Business in Business Management. She is a member of the Dean’s Leadership Cluster and Kappa Beta Delta honor society. Critten plans to continue her education at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington to pursue a degree in marine biology. Oehler graduated Summa Cum Laude with a dual major, two Associate of Applied Business Degrees in Business Management and Human Resource Management. She is a member of the Kappa Beta Delta and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Societies, as well as the Dean’s Leadership Cluster. Oehler plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in human resource management.