The 48th commencement and awarding of credentials was held May 10 on the Cumberland campus of Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College with over 300 students receiving degrees, certificates and diplomas. The event was held beneath a 200-foot by 120-foot tent as hundreds of spectators paid tribute to the graduates who represented each of the SKCTC five campuses. The ceremony featured key remarks made by Dr. Michael B. McCall, head of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, who urged graduates to become their own CEOs and to work tirelessly marketing themselves while pushing forward in their lives and into the ultra-competitive 21st Century job market. The commencement also marked the final gradation event for Dr. W. Bruce Ayers, SKCTC president since 1987, who will retire June 30. Ayers has worked at the college since 1969 and has held posts a professor, program coordinator and president. Under Ayers’ watch, the college has grown to over 5,000 students and has expanded to campus sites located at Cumberland, Whitesburg, Pineville, Middlesboro and Harlan. Recently, the college was honored by the Aspen Institute as one of the top ten community colleges in the United States.