STEUBENVILLE - The Eastern Gateway Community College Class of 2013 heard words of wisdom to take into future endeavors during the 44th annual commencement exercises Saturday at the college.
Under blue skies, optimism was in the air as graduates were lauded by faculty for their accomplishments as well as being wished well in their future travels from family and friends.
The program began with a welcome from Jim Baber, college vice president for academic and student services, who also recognized distinguished faculty members and graduates who attained honors during their tenure at the school.
COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER — Joanne Bashford, associate vice president for developmental education at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., told the Eastern Gateway Community College graduating Class of 2013 to keep their eyes on the prize, whether they begin to pursue employment or further their education, during the 44th commencement exercises Saturday at the college. - Mark J. Miller
The invocation was led by Gregory Wickham II, college Phi Theta Kappa president, after which bagpipers played during the procession and the singing of the national anthem, led by Beth Rupert-Warren and the Gem City Brass Sextet.
Laura Meeks, college president, stressed the importance of college-educated workers in today's competitive economic climate. She added Eastern Gateway had the fourth-lowest tuition in the state and provided "high quality education at an affordable rate. We believe in investing in learning."
Meeks also said generations of Tri-State Area residents had graduated from the college under its three names, and that "41 percent of graduates will actually seek employment, while 36 percent will go on to higher education."
Meeks than recognized staff and retiring educators, after which she introduced keynote speaker Joanne Bashford, associate vice president for developmental education at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Bashford said she took the hard road to education and had never actually attended any of her graduating ceremonies.
"I've never gone to any of my graduating ceremonies," she said. "I've been to plenty of others."
Bashford said she'd heard the most memorable commencement addresses were short, so "I'm going to be short," she said to applause.
Bashford said she graduated high school in 1976 but missed her graduation ceremony because "I thought I was too cool for school." She said she worked a few jobs before realizing that wasn't what she wanted to do. She relocated to Florida, only to return to her native Pennsylvania and attend the University of Pittsburgh, where she attained a master's degree and and again missed her graduation ceremony.
"It was the only time I didn't work (while going to school), and I loved it," she said. "I really loved it."
After graduation Bashford worked as a guidance and career counselor and ended up working at Dade College in Florida.
She said shortly before she began working a hurricane decimated the campus, but she went to work there eventually.
"I haven't left south Florida," she said, adding she then earned her doctorate degree. "I loved it, and it was so fun to be in college."
Bashford passed along some words of wisdom to graduates, including "I hope you thank everyone who helped you along the way," she said, adding that included family, friends and faculty. "I hope you remember them and be grateful."
She also told graduates to "remember the responsibility you have as a college graduate." Bashford also said college graduates' children were 50 percent more likely to go to college; their chances of becoming employed were doubled; they would have a higher job satisfaction rate; they would be more likely to live a healthy lifestyle; they were less likely to go to jail; and more likely to vote.
"Think about what you're going to do next," she said in her parting words. "You need to keep growing and changing."
Certificates and diplomas were then presented to graduates.
Eastern Gateway Community College area graduates include:
Adena: Steven D. Oleksiak, Gregory Stephen Whiting.
Amsterdam: Misty Rae Bitgood, Jeremy Michael Harper, Elizabeth Ann Milligan, Sean Michael Sullivan.
Bergholz: Jayci Lyn Davis, Christine A. Fenstermaker, Kyle A. Scott, Dana Nichole Still.
Bloomingdale: Elaine M. Berard, Elizabeth D. Bradcovich, Matthew G. Emley, Thomas David Evans, Clinton Craig Grafton, Carl Kenneth Grigsby, Amelia E. Harding, Matthew Michael Keller, Melody Erin Lyons, Desarae Amanda Schrode, Suzanne M. Travis, Shari Danielle Tressler.
Brilliant: Vicki L. Brandon, Kayla Marie Gorney, John P. Morris, Zachary Thomas Peckens, Ashley N. Severance, Brittany Nicole Striffler, Justin Alan Sutphin.
Cadiz: Amanda Gale Becker, Mikah Rayne Dowdel, April D. Jones, Tyler Anthony Kenny, Cara Breanne Marshall, Amber Mae Runevitch, Brandi Michelle Stearns.
Dillonvale: Kristy M. Deters, Timothy Jason Kirchner, Rose Marie Lucas, Joseph Nathaniel McGuire, Catelyn Marie Starr, Larry Robert Thompson.
Empire: Macey Leigh Johnson, Lincoln T. Kelley, Brooke A. Thomas.
Hammondsville: Rachel Marie Daugherty.
Hopedale: Emily Kaye Garlinger, Sean Henry Stillwagon, Sondra Jane Streets.
Irondale: Dustin Ross Crawford, Brittany Lynn Furbee, Kelly Burns Gaspard, William Thomas Orr, Adam J. Starr, Emily Elizabeth Urich.
Jewett: Sarah Christine DeMalio, Kristin Nicole Fisher, Shauna Rena Palmer.
Mingo Junction: Mandi Jo Barrett, Jacki Ann Brown, Lewis A. Caldrone, Courtney M. Forrester, Stephen Douglas Gundrum, Olivia June Hasley, Donald Samuel Hipkiss, Carol A. Indovina, Jessica N. Irwin, Zachary James Keener, Cindy Jo Lawver, Allyson Kaleen McPeek, David Jacob Vaughn Monigold, Lalena Danielle Morris, Anthony David Petrella, Joseph Matthew Pinkerton, Sandra L. Saffle, Katie Lynn Srock, Tiffany L. Thompson, Brittany Tipton, Malinda Ann Truby, Jamie Lynn Zundel.
Mount Pleasant: Lauren S. Terry.
Rayland: Brandy D. Arnett, Nicole Leigh Billingsley, Coltin James Bloom, Sharon Elaine Hirsch. Trisha Leigh Kindberg, Jennifer Marie Langsdorf, Lance Christopher Lucarelli, Stanley J. Rusnak.
Richmond: Kayla D. Bailey, Brandon Michael Cunningham, Vincent D. Cunningham, Samantha Jo Gregor, Rachel Caroline Kinney, Kimberly Jo Miller, Laura J. Sabedra Norris, Kevin Walden, Gregory Scott Wickham, Tanner S. Young.
Salineville: Terry S. Cheuvront, Adam James Kelly.
Scio: Desiraa A. Cramblett, Jessica I McAfee, Sarah Lane Shaulis.
Steubenville: Stephanie A. Anderson, Brittany Jacquilline Arkley, Michael W. Bell, Anthony R. Bentley, Aimee Lynn Black, Julie A. Bocek, Heidi Leigh Brooks, Kayla Marie Brown, Kayla Jo Cable, Brittany Michele Cash, Sierra Nicole Chipps, Thomas Aaron Clutter, Matthew Allen Crossley, Cheryl M. DeFrank, Melanie J. Dicarlo, Nichelle R. Dokes, Frank C. Francis, Francisco J. Gonzalez, Tammy Graham, Robert Christopher Hammel, Jamar B. Harvey, Abby E. Hawthorne, Lisa A. Hinerman, Corey James Hoover, Kelley J. Hudson, Ashauntia N. Jeter, Taylor Brooke Justice, Sarah Renee Lascano, Darlene K. Lewis, Quintin Lee Littlejohn, Duane Love, Tina M. Mamula, Travis J. Moore, Tanya E. Moore-McCraley, Charles Carl Nemeth, Colleen Meghan ONeil, Mallory Perine, Anthony Michael Porco, Jordan James Porreca, Carmella R. Reedy, William Rensi, Kayla Jean Richardson, Francisco Javier Rodriguez, Elizabeth Marie Salazar, Jeffrey V. Shackleford, Suzette M. Sherrell, Amanda Christine Shreve, Florence E. Sims, Lindsey Marie Smith, Amanda K. Stewart, Linsey Renee Stewart, Melissia A. Sutton, Kathleen J. Tharp, Jenna Elyse Waugh, Karen A. Wayne, Anita Lea Williams, Alesia Ann Withers.
Stratton: Elizabeth E. Kennedy, Leah Anne Meadows, Paige A. Pettengill.
Toronto: Kira A. Anderson, Deanna Marie Baker, Anthony Tyler Bell, Shauna Louise Bentley, Bryant Acken Bigler, Chelsey Nicole Cline, Lyndzee Caitlyn Davis, John Robert Deller, Jessica Jean Everson, Robert Anthony Febo, Kayla Rose Gooch, Robert William Hall, Brandie D. Holmes, Eric Todd Ingram, Taylor Elizabeth Johnston, Hillary Elizabeth Jones, Gregory Edward Keenan, Leeann M. Leggett, Michelle L. Marshall, Randy H. McGrew, Jalissa Patricia Miller, Zachary J. Murray, Brittany Evonne Rice, Megan Elizabeth Roupe, Andrew Steven Ruberto, Susan L. Ruberto, Amy Lynn Savage, Joshua B. Smith, Elicia R. Stephen, Sarah Jane Stowers, Hanna Rose Thomas, Aubraney Renea Thompson, Brittany N. Tice, Ashley Nicole Turner, Crystal L. Wells, Amanda M. Wickham.
Wellsville: Garrett Wade Bryson, Justin Daniel Cataldo, Michael James Shannon, Martin Thorn.
Wintersville: Michelle L Barajas, Robert James Barnett, Sandra Jean Beegle, Jennifer L. Berkey, Natalee Danelle Bommer, Kyra A. Brooks, Jaime L. Chipps, Jessica L. Chivers, Kenneth Carlos Combs, Christina L. Dewess, Joshua M. Dewess, Collin Joseph Goddard, Victoria J. Holman, Michelle Ann Hoover, John Harvey Irvin, Aubrey D. McGee, Nancy Rebecca Null, Mark L. Panebianco, Jon-Michael Payne, Ivy Lalosa Reeves, Keith Russell Ricker, Irene V. Ritchie, Alyssa N. Trimiar, Maria Grace Wanchic, Brett L. Windon.
Paris, Pa.: Ginny Rose Carulli.
Chester: Cortney Lynn Atkinson, Donovan Coy Dawson.
Follansbee: Jessica E. Dial, Everett E. Dillon, Christopher James Scammell, Alice A. Woods.
Weirton: James Vincent Abramowicz, Timothy S. Bradley, Arick Daniel Elliott, Francis Dennis Evans, Olivia Jeanette Felici, Sarah Ann Mapel, Teresa Ann Owen, Sonya Stefansky, Laura Marie Whitehead, Erica Marie Zimmerman.
Wellsburg: Amanda J. Bateman, Nathan Vincent Foose.