NMJC Honors Graduates
5/13/2017 11:20:41 a.m. - Hobbs, NM.
[Story by Curtis C. Wynne, Hobbs News-Sun]
[NOTE: The story writes that 358 students received their associates degrees. Actually 429 received degrees; 233 walked in commencement]
A clear blending of dignified ceremony and joyous celebration permeated the Lea County Event Center Friday at the New Mexico Junior College commencement for 2017.
Complete with pomp and circumstance, gowns, caps and tassels, 358 NMJC students received their associates degrees Friday. Eighty-five of those were listed as honor students. In addition, the crowd of almost 2,000 family members and friends watched and cheered as 34 classmates received their certificates and 17 received general education diplomas. In his first NMJC graduation ceremony since becoming the college president, Kelvin Sharp noted the quality education each student had received at the state’s first junior college.
“I urge you to keep in touch with each other and with your instructors here at New Mexico Junior College,” he said.
As each honor student came onto the stage, Sharp placed a golden yellow honor cord around his or her neck. A student wins honor designation by completing a minimum of 30 semester hours of courses at NMJC and earning a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5.
Holding balloons, flowers, congratulation posters and cameras of all types, family members could hardly wait for the recessional and their graduates to exit for hugs and photographs.
Faculty, wearing full academic regalia – robes, academic hoods and either mortar boards or the tams that people who have earned doctoral degrees wear – marched to their places on the floor to the strains of Pomp and Circumstance.
As the audience stood, graduates clad in NMJC’s traditional red cap and gown marched in, followed by students wearing black caps and gowns.
Students in red were receiving Associate’s degrees either in arts, science, applied science, or they were receiving certificates declaring they are either career-ready or ready to take state mandated examinations before entering their job fields.
Those in black were receiving high school equivalency diplomas.
Sharp expressed special appreciation to the New Mexico Junior College Band Ensemble, directed by Professor of Music Yau-Sun Wong, for the music and the Southeast New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Honor Guard for presentation of the colors.
Curtis Wynne may be contacted at 575-391-5436 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos by Kimberly Ryan