In an exciting, yet humble commencement ceremony, the NETC class of 2010 was encouraged to push forward to reach new heights in their lives.
Dr. Ron Bartley, President of NETC, spoke proudly as he commended the graduates on a job well done.
“This is your day and you have worked hard to reach your goals,” he said. “We encourage you to take advantage of your talents and everything you have learned at NETC as you continue on your journeys.”
The paths each individual will choose to take beyond NETC are limitless, but the preparation and support from NETC faculty and staff has helped set a foundation for success wherever these new NETC alumni venture.
Dr. Barry Russell, President of the South Carolina Technical College System, served as the guest speaker and offered sage advice to graduates.
“Today marks an important milestone for you all. You each know the personal sacrifices you made to get you here today and the challenges you all faced, such as juggling careers and family while furthering your education, is quite impressive,” he said. “We celebrate your accomplishments with you and I know NETC is proud to have the capabilities to put each of your student needs first in order to help you meet your goals.”
NETC graduates, faculty, staff, and visitors witnessing the graduation ceremony listened intently as Dr. Russell used examples to further challenge the graduates as they embark on their new lives.
“First and foremost, celebrate your accomplishments. You all did what was necessary to meet your academic goals. Secondly, be willing to accept and embrace the changes that are going to take place. Lastly, commit to something bigger than yourself,” he said. “Happiness comes when you aren’t searching for it and hidden opportunities are everywhere. Be ready, stay curious, and keep reinventing yourselves. Make a personal commitment to yourselves to continue reaching your goals and full potential.”
Reaching academic goals is a core objective at NETC and the college works diligently to meet the needs of students and offer the best education possible. It is evident to observers that NETC is more than a college. Rather, it resembles a close-knit family. The unity of all associated with NETC was evident as the graduation ceremony took a humble turn when the college and the class of 2010 honored the memory and achievements of one of their own.
A degree was presented to the family of NETC alumna Bellanie Clyburn, of Pageland, who was laid to rest earlier in 2010. Clyburn’s two young sons, Jalen Davis and Kyran Stewart, accepted Clyburn’s Associate Degree in Business as many faculty members and guests shed tears through the standing ovation honoring Ms. Clyburn’s life and commitment to her family and academics.
After the graduation ceremony came to a close and the graduating class changed their tassels in the traditional fashion, the newest alumni of NETC congregated with faculty, staff, and family members at a special reception to celebrate their success.
For one family, this year’s graduation was even more special as three sisters captured their success at the same time and graduated together.
Bennettsville residents Bernice Adams and Sylvia Moore and their sister, Mildean Jones, of McColl, each earned an Associate Degree in Early Childhood. In unanimous fashion, this family is thrilled to have had the opportunities made available by NETC.
“Our bond is solid and that helped us academically as well as having the faculty on our side. We really enjoyed this experience and are working toward a better future for all of us,” said Bernice Adams, the elder sister.
Looking towards the future was a key theme for the class of 2010. Hartsville resident Stephanie Blackmon received her Health Science degree and hopes to use her knowledge to advance in her healthcare career.
“Nursing and Healthcare are growing fields and as our guest speaker said in his speech, we must embrace the changes and keep reinventing ourselves,” she said. “I love giving back to others and NETC really allowed me to be able to do this more within my career goals.”
Being prepared and having the skills to move up within a job position was also an objective for Bennettsville resident Sam Purcell, who earned his Industrial Technology degree.
“Juggling kids, family, work and school is a challenge. But it is possible because NETC offered classes day and night, as well as having tutors available to help guide us. Getting an education here is truly a team effort,” he said. “Graduating means so much to me because it’s my pathway to being closer to obtaining a management position and being able to provide a better life for my family.”
Although the class of 2010 will go their separate ways, they will forever share a special bond and will take their knowledge and memories of NETC with them. Graduation marked the completion of academic programs, not learning, as Dr. Russell stated during his speech.
“Learning is a lifelong process and there is more than one way to reach your goals,” he said.
Whatever path the newest NETC alumni choose to take, it will be taken with a solid foundation of knowledge, abilities, and unwavering support obtained during their experience at Northeastern Technical College.
To view, download or purchase photographs of NETC’s 2010 graduation ceremony, visit the college’s website at www.netc.edu and click on “NETC PHOTOS” posted in the bottom of the NETC News box.