Fall graduate Linda Blackwell stood in front of the audience as a smile beamed over her face.
“I want to thank my husband for making me sandwiches,” Blackwell said in a speech, as she shared ways her husband supported her during countless hours of studying.
Blackwell, who graduated with a master’s degree in science and clinical psychology, was one of several fall graduates honored at a ceremony held by the Multicultural Center AHAINA student programs.
Though the ceremony was held to honor graduates, they each dedicated a rose to their supporters and thanked them publicly.
“Thanks to my husband for proof reading my essays,” said Aliki Joannides, graduate with a double major in management and marketing. This was her third degree earned.
“Anytime you have people get up on that microphone and tear up, it gets to you,” said Janette Thornton, office manager for the Multicultural Center.
After Chancellor Tom Case spoke, Bruce Schultz, vice chancellor of student affairs led graduates in an “oath of dedication.”
“As you embark upon this new journey, may you remember with gratitude the homes and school from which you came and whose hopes and dreams followed you here,” Schultz began.
Students who complete degree requirements during the academic year are invited to participate in the annual commencement ceremony at the end of spring semester.
The program wanted to make sure each graduate starts the new year feeling uplifted, supported and acknowledged.
Many graduates said they have plans to start the next semester back in the academic realm.
Eddy Pena, graduate with an associate of applied science, said that as the new year dawns, he plans on starting a new degree in graphic design.
“I did it once and I know I will do it again,” Pena said.
“The stories that they share are often emotional and sometimes painful but these stories always end with a positive result – another successful Seawolf graduate,” said Elijah Thorn, director of the Multicultural Center. “Isn’t this the ultimate goal for us being here?”