400 graduate from NJC
Associated Student Government officer Anna Kindvall presents the Joel E. Mack Award to Dr. Scott Thompson, chair of the liberal arts department at NJC.
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Alumni Mace Bearers Wilmer and Donna Johnson (class of 1950 and 1951) and Faculty/Staff Marshal Connie Henderson, center, lead the graduates into the Bank of Colorado Event Center, during the NJC Commencement Ceremony, Friday. (Callie Jones / Sterling Journal-Advocate )
STERLING — Some will transfer on to another school to finish their education; others will head out into the workforce. Either way the 400 graduates of Northeastern Junior College have a bright future ahead of them.
The college's 71st annual commencement ceremony on Friday started with students proceeding into the Bank of Colorado Events Center to the traditional graduation song, "Pomp and Circumstance," performed by Steven Cordova.
Alumni Mace Bearers Wilmer and Donna Johnson, from the classes of 1950 and 1951, led the students in, along with Faculty/Staff Marshall Connie Henderson.
Serving as class escorts were the 2014-15 Associated Student Government officers Denzel Stewart, Olivia Klinzmann and Britten Abbott. Ushers for the event were NJC Ambassadors Andrea Northup, Nicole Fischer and Drew Carlson.
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Class escorts Denzel Stewart and Britten Abbott lead the class of 2014 into the Bank of Colorado Event Center, during the NJC's Commencement Ceremony. (Callie Jones / Sterling Journal-Advocate )
Once all the graduates made their way to their seats, the National Anthem was performed by the NJC Jazz Choir and invocation was given by Brandon Begier.
"I am the first to officially congratulate the class of 2014 for a job well done."
He passed along the regrets of Rich Martinez, chair of the Colorado Community College System board, who was unable to attend the ceremony due to illness, and then introduced 2013-14 ASG President Sianna Gomez, who shared a few words of advice with her fellow classmates.
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The NJC Jazz Choir performs the National Anthem, under the direction of Celeste Delgado-Pelton. (Callie Jones / Sterling Journal-Advocate )
"As we celebrate this milestone today, it's important to remember that we're not done yet. Whether we go into the workforce after this or continue our education, just remember that NJC is a part of you and you are a part of NJC."
Briggs, the equine management coordinator, ranch horse versatility team coach and sponsor of the equine club, has been at NJC since 2007. He teaches horse training, equine reproduction, equine health and equine science, provides "great" professional internships for all of his students and is always available for advising.
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Sianna Gomez, Associated Student
Government, shares a few words of advice with her fellow graduates. (Callie Jones/ Sterling Journal-Advocate )
"His positive attitude and great sense of humor have been a perfect match for NJC," Miller said.
Thompson, chair of the liberal arts department, teaches a wide range of psychology courses including general psychology, human growth and development and abnormal psychology. Under his leadership the psychology program has grown to be one of the largest programs on campus.
"He is very popular as an instructor and his classes are always full," Kindvall said. "NJC students and colleagues tend to agree that he is kind, funny, supportive, persuasive and incredibly intelligent."
Kelley, assistant athletic trainer, serves both student athletes and athletic training students.
"Students love his ability to make his classes enthusiastic, relevant and hands on," Gomez said. "Students enjoy his teaching style so much they often request him as an instructor. He does a great job maintaining the quality of service to over 100 athletes, while providing invaluable experience and teaching to athletic training students."
After those awards were presented, Bob Carpio, president of the NJC Alumni Association, gave a few words of advice to the graduates.
"Live your dreams, make life what you want it, but don't forget that we are all team players in this game of life," he told the students. "Try to fulfill those aspirations and dreams, but please do not do so at the expense of others."
"I would like to wish you all the job satisfaction, but more importantly that your lives are filled with happiness."
Carpio then presented the Pride in Association Award, which recognizes a family for their support, dedication and loyalty to NJC over the years, to the Albert and Marjorie Zink family.
Lee continued the ceremony, recognizing several students.
The Charles F. Poole Award, given to scholastic class leaders who attended NJC continuously and contributed to campus life, went to Kira Kopchik (Morrison), Sarah Allison (Sterling), Tanner Bedsaul (Atwood) and Leeah Key (Sterling).
Also, the Armidla D. Dowis Award, given to an outstanding graduate in an occupational program, went to Kathryn Snowberger (Durango).
Then it was time for the graduates to step onto the stage to receive their diploma.
In all, NJC conferred 83 Associate of Arts, 38 Associate of General Studies, 43 Associate of Science and 121 Associated of Applied Science degrees, as well as 155 certificates.
After a benediction by Erinn Schmid, as "Grand March from 'Aida'" played, performed by Steven Cordova, the graduates headed out of the Event Center and onto the next chapter of their lives.
Contact Journal-Advocate staff writer Callie Jones at 970-526-9286 or firstname.lastname@example.org