The immense joy and excitement could be felt in the air as friends, family, faculty, staff, and the graduates in the Class of 2015 gathered for the $$Princeton Campus’s commencement ceremony on Friday, May 15 at Liberty Baptist Church. Commencement speaker Dr. Sudhakar Jamkhandi chose a different route than the traditional graduation speech and instead posed a series of thought-provoking questions to the graduates, encouraging them to reflect on their experiences and future hopes when considering their unique responses.—
“Now that you’ve obtained your diploma, what do you plan on doing? What is your passion, and how will you fulfill it? Who do you owe for making it this far, and what do you owe them? How will what you have learned or mastered benefit your fellow humans? Are you a person you would want to seek advice from? Do you show a caring and compassionate demeanor when you meet strangers? Are you worthy of others’ friendship?” he asked, among many other things. “I can assure you that you will add your own questions to this list for the rest of your life, and you will spend the rest of your life seeking answers. Let’s be good, caring, considerate, compassionate humans.”
Following Dr. Jamkhandi’s speech, forty-two graduates received their diplomas, associate’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees in various health science, business, and information technology programs. Among the graduates were several recipients of academic achievement awards: James Maestas—Leadership Award; Tracy Thomas—E. M. Coulter Award; Emily Turner—Joseph E. Hurn Award; Benjamin Martin—M. A. Smythe Award; and this year’s recipient of the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award was Lillie Poole, a 2001 medical assisting graduate who has been employed with New Hope Family Practice since graduating from the $$Princeton Campus and now serves as the office manager.
[img]Tiki Ward was this year’s recipient of the Achievement Award, presented to graduates who, through extraordinary effort, overcame obstacles to achieve success in their studies and reach their academic goals. Tiki first enrolled at ANU in 1997 but had to take time off from her studies due to a series of difficult experiences in her family, including her daughter facing kidney failure and her mother being involved in a serious car accident. Tiki ultimately came back to ANU and earned both her associate’s degree in medical assisting and her pharmacy technician diploma this year, with both her daughter and mother in the audience cheering her on. “The staff and faculty kept encouraging me and wouldn’t let me quit,” shared Tiki. “They kept me going, even when I didn’t want to. They’re like family.”
A- The $$Princeton Campus Class of 2015
B- Graduate Tiki Ward (left) accepts her diploma from campus director Denver Riffe.