GREENWOOD — The Multipurpose building at Piedmont Technical College was the setting for the culmination of many dreams for the more than 200 Piedmont Technical College graduates who took center stage Thursday.
Dr. Ray Brooks, president, welcomed graduates, family and guests to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates.
“You have received the best gift you can get for Christmas and that is the gift of education and the gift of opportunity,” Brooks said. “We are here tonight to celebrate learning and achievement.”
Brooks was followed by the commencement speakers. The address was delivered by three graduating students – Joe Brown, a computer technology graduate from Whitmire; Brandy Hudson, an engineering graphics technology major from Greenwood; and Tammy Walker, an Associate in Science graduate from Epworth.
Brown shared the experience of his commute to Piedmont Tech and challenged his fellow graduates to serve their communities just like the bridges he crossed during his travels.
“Today, I am truly grateful to be among those that traveled through the educational bridge that is Piedmont Technical College,” he said. “To my colleagues, the opportunity is ours to bridge the gap for many people as we journey on through life. Today, let us all accept the challenge to be the bridge we need to be.”
Hudson shared the story of finding her ideal career path and congratulated the other graduates on finding their paths.
“We have all traveled a different path but we have all made it,” Hudson said. “I challenge everyone to give back to the community and the school some of the support that we all received during our time here.”
Walker talked about the steps all of the graduates shared through their general education classes and how those seemingly simple steps formed the path to success in their program areas.
“There were English, literature and public speaking courses that taught us to communicate in the workplace and shine in that important interview. In art appreciation, world religion and ethics, we learned to respect other cultures and to look deeper and think deeper,” she said. “It was those general education classes that molded us into the people that we are today, standing here in graduation gowns and tassels.”
Several graduates were recognized for highest academic achievement within their counties of residence.
The winners by their counties of residence and their majors were: Abbeville: Robert Wooley, mechatronics; Punit Patel, Associate in Arts; Christopher Kidd, computer technology; Edgefield: Nathan Legrand, welding; Greenwood: Rachel Bowick, administrative office technology; Laurens: Deborah Patrick, computer technology; and Benjamin Langston, mechatronics; Newberry: Henry Brandt, industrial electronics technology and mechatronics; and Saluda: Brandon Padget, diversified agriculture.
Presenting this year’s graduates was Andy Omundson, dean of student services. Certificates, diplomas and associate degrees were conferred by Brooks and Susan Timmons, vice president for educational affairs, with assistance from board chairman William Whitfield; Evelyn Beck, interim dean of Arts and Sciences; Jerry Alewine, dean of health science; Tara Harris, dean of nursing; Sissy Copeland, dean of business, information technologies and public service; and Keith Lasure, dean of engineering and industrial technologies.
The macebearer was David Martin, faculty senate president. The mace was designed by members of the faculty and staff and presented to the college in 1991 by PTC’s Alumni Association. Music was provided by Emerald City Brass. Dr. Richard Barbare, English instructor at PTC and assisting priest for Holy Trinity Anglican Church, delivered the invocation and benediction.
Piedmont Technical College’s Newberry County December 2012 graduates and their areas of study are listed below:
Duane Milton Abnathey, associate in applied science, major in criminal justice;
*Linda Tereasa Cannon, associate in applied science, major in early care and education; Kimberly Amick Chapman, associate in applied science, major in nursing;
**Paula Annette Quattlebaum Dudley, associate in applied science, major in general business, business management concentration;
Hope Danyel Gary, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical coding/billing concentration;
Leslie S. Minick, associate in applied science, major in nursing;
Mercie Lee Minyard, associate in applied science, major in human services;
Benjamin Hunter Pratt, associate in applied science, major in funeral service;
LG Samuel Jr., associate in applied science, major in computer technology, information technology concentration;
Jason C. Sexton, associate in applied science, major in heating, ventilating and air conditioning technology;
Stevie P. Sligh III, associate in applied science, major in general business, business management concentration;
April Cherie Smith, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; and
*Brenda R. Trapp, associate in applied science, major in early care and education.
Anna M. Dubousky, associate in applied science, major in general business, general business concentration.
***Henry A. Brandt, associate in applied science, major in industrial electronics technology/mechatronics technology;
Joni Seibert Chapman, associate in applied science, major in nursing; and
Andrea S. Griffith, associate in applied science, major in nursing.
Janet F. Davenport, associate in applied science, major in nursing.
Samantha Bridges, associate in applied science, major in general business, accounting concentration;
**Joe Brown, associate in applied science, major in computer technology, network concentration; Amanda J. Stone, certificate in patient care technician; and
Alisha Carlene Taylor, certificate in photography.
***Summa Cum Laude-4.0 **Magna Cum Laude-3.75-3.99 *Cum Laude-3.5-3.74
Piedmont Tech shares in the well-deserved pride our graduates feel in their accomplishments. To meet the printing deadlines required for production of the program and to maximize use of graduates’ names in area media, information is compiled a minimum of two weeks in advance of commencement exercises. For that reason, names of students who fail to meet graduation requirements may be included. Conversely, names of students who met those requirements after the print deadline may be omitted. We regret any embarrassment or inconvenience these schedules may cause.