Graduation Night for CSM Students
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Graduation Night for CSM Students
La Plata, MD - 5/12/2012
By Andy Marquis
508 students received degrees and certificates during the 53rd Commencement Ceremony at College of Southern Maryland (CSM) in La Plata on Thursday night. The graduates ranged from age 15 to age 64.
“I want people to know that whatever obstacles you face, no matter how old you are, you can reach your goals,” Diane Edmonds-Vitashoka, who is the oldest CSM graduate at 64 years of age said. “As long as you let people hold you down [by being negative], you will stay down. I had so many people at CSM helping me, encouraging me and making sure that I didn’t give up, and it is by the grace of God that I was able to do this. My friends and family are not taking this lightly.”
“I’m a graduate of Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) as well but my dream was always to be a nurse,” Allison Betz, who graduated from the Nursing program with honors, said. “It’s been a long road but we all finally made it. I was a Theater and English major (at Virginia Tech). I already work at St. Mary’s Hospital and I hope to continue my work there as a Registered Nurse.”
“This is my dream job,” Ryan Michael Runyon, who graduated with a certificate in Graphics Design, said. “I hope to become a 3-D animator. My time at CSM was really awesome, it was a great experience.”
“All (508 graduates) have worked so hard to reach this milestone,” CSM President Dr. Bradley Gottfried said. “All of us are so very proud of them. This is why we’re here, every single day, for our students.”
Dr. Joseph Urgo, President of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, was the keynote speaker for the ceremonies. Joseph Urgo
“I come here today to look at the future,” Urgo said. “I know you are not done with your lessons, neither am I. We meet at this juncture as learners. You're about to pass a milestone where you then say 'I'm a graduate of the College of Southern Maryland'. I am also at a milestone, a commencement speaker humbled by Dr. Bradley Gottfried's invitation to speak to you. My question for us today is inspired by Robert Frost, what have we learned?
“President Gottfried, members of the CSM Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students, parents, families, friends and most of us, class of 2012, this is a glorious occasion. This a point when we take pause in our lives to mark a passage and reflect on what life means to us and to make certain we know its importance. We do this because we are occupied by so much in life that is not important. We are under continuous sensory seduction. Cell phones, text messages, Facebook status updates, Tweets, and a larger continuous seduction that we lose weight, gain muscle, drink less, drink more, eat something, subscribe, get a press credential. Our desires are not only met but created and if we no longer have a desire, we have something for you to create that need and get you back on the market. We have to stop on an occasion like today and select what is important.”
“First and foremost, congratulations are on order to all of our Spring 2012 graduates for your recent success,” CSM Student Government Association President Tia Dickerson said. “I, myself, cannot wait to finish this fantastic journey that you all have completed today.”
Photography by Andy Marquis, more photos can be seen at: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150867389749437.427930.508899436&type=1
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