Graduation affects instructors too

Mandi Elrod

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Roy Vogtsberger, associate professor of biology, said, "It is natural to feel proud of your students. Upon graduation, they should be ready for their next challenge in life."

Roy Vogtsberger, associate professor of biology, said, “It is natural to feel proud of your students. Upon graduation, they should be ready for their next challenge in life.”

With sweaty hands, fast beating hearts, and excitement that holds them almost rigid, the walk across the stage at graduation on May 10 will seem like the longest walk of most student’s lives. It’s a little different for the instructors watching.

“I feel proud of my students when I see them walk across the stage,” Sharon Arnoult, associate professor of history, said. “It’s my favorite part of graduation.”

After spending months teaching and connecting emotionally with each of their students, those last few moments after graduation are all they have.

“My favorite thing about graduation is seeing all of the students that I have taught throughout the years finally achieving their ultimate goal of graduation and walking across the stage to receive their degree. The feeling of optimism and what lies ahead for the students permeates the air during this time. I look at those graduating and can’t help but think that the future of our world lies in part by what these students will do and accomplish,” Roy Vogtsberger, associate professor of biology, said.

Last year 662 students graduated. 551 bachelor’s degrees, and 63 master’s degrees were awarded, and this year approximately 656 students will be graduating.

“I really love seeing the joy on my student’s faces. I am also extraordinarily proud as I see them honored for their hard work,” Whitney Snow, assistant professor of history, said.

As classes end on May 2, and a week filled with finals begins instructors say goodbye and give a last few bits of advice.

“My advice to students would be that whatever you do, always work hard and do your best at whatever task is before you. Don’t expect everything in life to just be handed to you,” Vogtsberger said.

Some may see it as a token, others a piece of paper, but a college diploma means all that and more. It’s a sign of hard work and strife that not many people can say they’ve achieved. Some diplomas will end up in boxes, stuffed into attics and forgotten over time and others will hang proudly in offices and rooms that people walk in  and out of as a constant reminder of what was achieved.

“The best advice I could offer is to strive for your dreams, and always finish what you start,” Snow said.

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