Friday, May 10, 2013

High honors and multiple degrees represent CGCC graduating class

More than 1,200 students graduate today from Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Of those, 35 percent have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and 120 are graduating with multiple degrees or certificates. Last night, the college held an awards ceremony recognizing 67 students for their outstanding efforts in academics and leadership.

“This is a very special time of year for us,” said Linda Lujan, president of CGCC. “We get to witness and participate in our students’ success and feelings of accomplishment. They have worked exceptionally hard to get here and our faculty and staff have worked equally as hard helping them along their educational journey.”

Kolton Orcutt, president of the associated students of CGCC, is graduating with high distinction (3.75 GPA or higher) and receiving an associate degree in business as well as a certificate in accounting. Orcutt, a 2010 graduate from Basha High School in Chandler, originally went to the University of Arizona but returned to Chandler and began classes at CGCC in fall 2011.
CGCC's nursing Class of 2013.

“Changing colleges gave me insight into how important flexibility and perseverance are in navigating this world of constant and increasingly rapid change,” said Orcutt. “There is no roadmap, GPS, or app to guide us into our future. Despite all our planning and preparation, life happens. We can choose to surrender or prevail. Tonight’s graduates have all prevailed and are charged with taking their newly acquired knowledge and transforming it into life-altering innovations and discoveries.”

Orcutt will join Congressman Matt Salmon in addressing the graduates at the 8 p.m. ceremony held on the Pecos campus. Salmon was selected by the college for his long-standing support of education and of veterans. Lujan notes that, though they have different opinions at times, there are points on which she and Congressman Salmon agree.

“In addition to support for education and veterans, we agree that we are fortunate to live and work in a democracy where each of us can freely share our opposing views in a respectful, civil manner, a hallmark of democracy and of academic freedom. We also agree that tonight is not about differences, but about celebration of our students and their accomplishments.”

The scope of student accomplishments is as diverse as the range of programs offered at the college. Nearly 70 percent of graduates completed the coursework to transfer to a four-year university. Twenty-five students will participate in the nursing pinning ceremony at the Williams Campus at 2 p.m., a long-held tradition signifying their graduation to a board-eligible registered nurse. Others will graduate with certificates or degrees in a variety of career and technical areas that will put them in high-skill, high wage jobs immediately upon graduation such as aircraft maintenance, exercise science, engineering technology, powerplant maintenance, dietetics, computer information systems, massage therapy, and electric utility technology.

“Regardless of our specializations, we are bonded by the education and wisdom we have acquired here at Chandler-Gilbert Community College,” said Orcutt. “It is this education and our unity to achieve more together than any one of us could accomplish alone that will give us the power to seize the successes that lay before us.”

View the 2013 graduation scrapbook

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