Major General Abraham J. Turner encouraged Northeastern Technical College’s Class of 2012 to keep pushing to the “next level,” whether it be furthering one’s education, owning a business or becoming a supervisor or manager.
Turner was the keynote speaker for the college’s commencement ceremony, held May 19 in Cheraw, and attended by nearly 900 people. NETC’s 2012 graduating class had 186 students.
“All of you have achieved a significant milestone, but that doesn’t mean that you can become complacent,” Turner said. “Whatever it is that you want out of life, focus on achieving it. Push yourself to the next level. You’re not done yet.”
Turner, along with faculty, staff and members of NETC’s Area Commission, joined graduates and their families in marking this monumental milestone in the lives of so many.
“We’re honored that you chose our college as a place in which you would continue your education, and we, along with all those assembled here today, celebrate your accomplishments,” said Ron Bartley, college president. “It is our hope that you have not only learned the academic lessons well from our instructors, but have learned some valuable lessons of life as well. It is also our hope that each of you will take advantage of the creative talents within you and utilize those talents to become the best that you can be.”
Bartley also reminded graduates that their successful completion of a program at NETC makes each one of them an alumnus of the college.
“Don’t think of your graduation as leaving us,” he said. “What you’ll actually be doing is taking a part of us with you. On this day, you’re an alumnus of Northeastern Technical College, and I officially designate you as a new member of our alumni association.”
Area Commission Chairman Herbert Watts introduced Turner as the guest speaker, citing Turner’s military career history before Gov. Nikki R. Haley appointed him executive director of the State Department of Employment and Workforce in 2011.
Turner is responsible for the overall administration and management of the State Department of Employment and Workforce. One of his major focuses is “putting South Carolinians back to work.”
“Although the economy is beginning to show signs of strength, we’re still not at our pre-recession levels,” Turner said. “So I cannot stand here in front of you and tell you that everything will be completely easy once you walk across this stage. Your work is only beginning.”
Turner applauded NETC and the technical colleges throughout the state for devising ways to positively impact the lives of its students and giving them the skill set they need to fill jobs. He also applauded the many family and friends who supported a graduate on his or her pathway to obtaining a degree, diploma or certificate.
Turner offered these final words of advice to the Class of 2012: “How successful you are cannot be determined by the size of the house you live in, the kind of car that you drive or how much money you make. Regardless of what path you choose to take, always remember to live your life with integrity and to constantly strive to reach your full potential.”
Start your pathway to a future this fall semester at NETC. The application deadline for fall semester is Aug. 1. Applications can be filled out online or at any of the college campuses in Pageland, Cheraw, Bennettsville or Dillon. For more information, call 1-800-921-7399 and choose option 1 for admissions.
To download an application form, visit the Admission page of the college website www.netc.edu.