Last Thursday, 966 students graduated last Thursday from Bucks County Community College.
The graduation was held at the Newtown Township Campus of the community college and featured Joanne Grossi, AARP Pennsylvania State President and a 1979 alumna of the public, two-year college, as the speaker.
“We tend to think of those who are courageous in terms of great historical figures like Abraham Lincoln fighting to maintain the Union, suffragists who died to win women the right to vote, or Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat in order to fight for civil rights,” said Grossi. “But courage is needed in our everyday careers as well: speaking up against a policy or practice which is unfair or discriminatory or will hurt others; saying something if we witness bullying or sexual harassment; or plain old standing up for an idea in which you believe.”
Grossi, who received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree, isn’t only a successful community college graduate but has served as s regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and deputy secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She earned her associate degree from Bucks County Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Temple University and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University.
Class of 2017 graduate Razin Karu, who earned an associate degree in history with honors, also spoke to his classmates about making the world a better place.
“We have this notion, that to achieve great things in our lives we have to do big and difficult things. I disagree,” said Karu, who moved to Bensalem from India four years ago. “I feel that great achievements of our lives are a result of small and often easy things done regularly, sincerely and persistently. The idea is to keep on going and not give up. It is not about intensity, it’s about consistency.”
Karu, who was heavily involved in campus life, plans to transfer to a university with the goal to work in diplomacy, foreign relations or higher education.
Prior to the commencement Thursday, the community college’s top students were honored with more than $275,000 in scholarships. The awards were presented by President Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt, Provost of Academic Affairs Lisa Angelo, and Dr. Tobias Bruhn, vice president of advancement.
The Bucks County Community College Alumni Association presented three Alumni Achievement Awards to Dr. Daniel McFarland (1985), an associate dean of the Rohrer College of Business at Rowan University; Cheryl Campbell (2013), executive director of The Christmas Gala, a Bristol Borough-based nonprofit organization that serves low-income senior citizens; and Bernard Wagenseller (1989), executive director of the Upper Bucks County Technical School.
Last Wednesday, nearly 100 nursing graduates were recognized at a pinning ceremony.