More than 200 students received over 400 associate degrees, certificates and career studies certificates during the 50th annual commencement exercises at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College on Friday, May 12.
Graduating from Lewisburg were: Sara J. Balnionis – associate of applied science, nursing; Daniel J. Franks – associate of applied science, technical studies in electrical and instrumentation technology; career studies certificate, electrical wiring fundamentals; career studies certificate, instrumentation technology fundamentals; Danielle Marie Jenkins – associate of applied science, nursing; Vanessa L. Mowery – associate of applied science, nursing; and Valorie Lynn Quick – associate of applied science, nursing.
Graduating from Ronceverte was: Jessica Ann Reigel – associate of arts and sciences, science; certificate, general education; and graduating from White Sulphur Springs were: Nathan J. Burdette – associate of applied science, forest management technology; career studies certificate, urban forestry; career studies certificate, welding; and Anthony P. Pennington – associate of applied science, culinary arts and management; certificate, culinary arts.
“You don’t need to be a CEO or a company president to be a leader,” said Virginia Community College System Chancellor Dr. Glenn DuBois, in his address to the graduates and their families and friends, as he recounted his own experience as a reluctant student persuaded by his mother to apply to and attend college. “And you don’t need to be a formal, certified classroom instructor to be a teacher.
“You just have to remember three things: first, great leaders and great teachers know that in order for something to have value, you have to work for it. There’s a reason not everyone tries to go to college. It takes hard work. There’s a reason that not everybody who starts college finishes it. It takes hard work. There’s a reason why not everyone holds a college credential. It takes hard work. The value of that credential comes from all the hard work it represents.
“Second, great leaders and great teachers are always looking for ways to up the goal. There are always ways to do more and to be more. There are always ways to help more people. There are always ways to answer questions and solve problems. Great leaders and great teachers are never satisfied with the status quo.
“And third, great leaders and great teachers can get more out of someone than that person can get out of themselves. It can be a push or a pull. It can be a kick in the pants or a pat on the back. It can be a disappointing look or an encouraging word. Great military leaders throughout history, great coaches throughout sports, and great managers throughout modern organizations understand this. Helping someone overcome a big obstacle can be just a matter of getting them out of their own way.
“So, no matter where your journey takes you next, I urge you to find ways to be a great leader and that great teacher,” DuBois concluded. “Don’t just look for one. Be one.”