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Southeast presents 49th commencement and awarding of credentials ceremony

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College presented its 49th Commencement and Awarding of Credentials during a ceremony May 9 at Harlan County High School. Some 350 graduates participated, receiving various degrees, certificates and diplomas.

The event, held before a crowd of several thousand spectators, marked the first commencement presided over by Southeast President Dr. Lynn Moore. The program featured remarks from Dr. Moore who lauded the efforts of the graduates, stating that many had overcome much to achieve their goals of a college degree. Also speaking to the graduates was Reecie Stagnolia, chairman of the SKCTC Board of Directors.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Brandon Robinson, an alumnus of the college and a well-known TV personality and meteorologist for WYMT-TV, the powerful CBS affiliate for all of eastern and southern Kentucky.
Mr. Robinson congratulated the class of 2014 and noted that, “Anything worthwhile does not come without sacrifice.” Many of the class, he said, have had to conquer much in order to become college graduates. He challenged each to continue to work toward their goals and to realize their dreams. “So many remarkable things are possible for you; set your goals high -- work tirelessly to achieve them,” he said.

Dr. Wheeler Conover, Southeast’s vice president and chief academic officer, remarked that graduation day was a time to celebrate hard work and an opportunity for graduates to “Push onward, fulfilling goals and living a honorable and successful life.”

Also during the evening, Dr. Moore paid honor to the college’s New Horizons winners Darrin Clark, Pat Baker and Sharon Johnson. The trio will soon represent Southeast at a conclave sponsored by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

Another key aspect of the evening featured the awarding of the President’s Service Award to Roland “Pee Wee” Cornett of Cumberland. Cornett enjoyed a celebrated career as a teacher at Cumberland High School, and for the past decade, he has served SKCTC in many capacities, including that of a recruiter for non-traditional students. “Roland is a great ambassador for our college; his work ethic and fervor for life are infectious. We are pleased to honor him tonight!”

Graduate Bethany Grubbs spoke on behalf of the class of 2014 and in doing so commended the SKCTC faculty for a job well done. “It was an honor that we, the students from each of the five campuses, had the chance to receive such a quality education and instruction provided by the faculty and staff,” she said. “They work to help us become successful, we will never forget their encouragement and their hard work!”

Adding to the charm of the evening was music provided by the Southeast Choir under the direction of Professor Anne Schertz and Clara Atkins-Pope, in addition to various numbers performed by the Harlan County High School Jazz Band.


Dr. Moore awarding diploma to a student on stage