Friday, May 15, 2015

Edison Holds 40th Commencement Ceremony

Left: Gabrianna Mescher, of Versailles, receives her associate degree at Edison before entering her senior year of high school. Right: Alyssa Roberts, of Bradford, receives her associate degree at Edison before entering her senior year of high school.
Edison Community College honored nearly 450 students during its 40th commencement ceremony Friday night before a packed house of family, friends, faculty and staff at the Piqua campus.

To kick off the ceremony, Student Senate President ChelseĆ” Thompson, of Piqua, gave an impactful speech about how Edison gave her a second chance to make a better future for herself. Thompson touched on the adversities she had to overcome to get where she is today and expressed her gratitude to Edison for helping her determine her path in life.

Edison was pleased to have the Director of the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Energy Office, Dr. Leslie Perkins serve as the ceremony’s keynote speaker. In her current role, Perkins is responsible for developing the AFRL Energy strategy, coordinating science and technology endeavors across AFRL disciplines, and advocating the AFRL Energy science and technology agencies such as the Department of Energy, Federal Aviation Authority, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Army, Navy and OSD to ensure non-duplication of effort and complementary energy-related science and technology planning.

Throughout her address, Perkins encouraged graduates to reach for their goals while overcoming adversities, staying true to themselves, and embracing diversity.

“You walk into your first college course with no idea what you are walking into, but after a while there is a sense of pride that wells up within you. It’s at that time that you realize you can do it,” said Dr. Perkins. “It’s when you learn to survive and thrive in a stimulating and demanding environment that you get to feel who you are.”

As the evening’s events drew to a close and the last degrees and certificates were awarded, Edison’s Interim President Dr. Karen Rafinski took a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by the families and friends of those that were being honored, and to note the overwhelming number of the high school and first generation college students receiving degrees from Edison this year. Dr. Rafinski also introduced Dr. Doreen Larson who will become the college’s fifth President beginning July 1st.

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