Graduates Are Urged to “Dream Big, Risk Failure, and Don’t Be Afraid to Succeed.”


The 2014 Commencement of the $$Roanoke Valley Campus took place on Friday, May 2nd at Lakeside Baptist Church in Salem, Virginia.  Ron Bradbury, campus director, welcomed everyone and said, “In about an hour, you will receive a diploma that represents so much production and holds so much promise.”  One hundred and thirty-five graduates received associate’s or bachelor’s degrees and 11 received MBA’s from President Longaker and Lenora Downing, vice president of Virginia and West Virginia.

[img]Among many awards presented, Hilarie Akers, Kelly Waskewicz, Jill Caldwell, and Robert Sohl received the E.M. Coulter Award presented in honor of E.M. Coulter who served as President of National College from 1901-1946 and as President Emeritus from 1946-1956.  The award is presented for high academic achievement. 

Delegate Greg Habeeb, a member of the House of Delegates, provided the commencement address.  “Forty-one percent of Americans receive a college degree and 12 percent receive a master’s degree,” said Delegate Habeeb.  “You have achieved something great that very few have achieved.  You have shown by graduating that you are capable…you have the knowledge and skills to succeed.”  

He urged the graduates to do three things:  “Dream big, risk failure, and don’t be afraid to succeed.  The road ahead is not easy,” said Delegate Habeeb.  "Be confident that you are prepared to deal with whatever comes your way.  When you succeed, enjoy it, capitalize on it, and help others to achieve their goals.”

Six students graduated with associate’s degrees in emergency medical techology-paramedic and are already employed in the field.  They are: Dan Noel, Andrew Isaacs, Corey Hite, Caitlin Huffman, Kayla Pauley, and Kelly Waskewicz.  Caitlin said that she chose the program “to make a difference.”  “I always wanted to be a firefighter and paramedic,” said Kelly.  “I wanted to make a difference in the community, to do something good and productive.  I always wanted to be in the medical field and it was the easiest and best way to do it.  I was born to do this.”

Dan is employed by the Roanoke County Fire and Rescue department; Kelly and Corey are with Roanoke City Fire and EMS; Caitlin and Andrew are employed by First Call Ambulance Service; and Kayla is with Salem Fire-EMS.

A-Delegate Greg Habeeb delivered the commencement address for the $$Roanoke Valley Campus.

B-Pictured (l) to (r) are President Frank Longaker, Hilarie Akers, medical billing and coding and pharmacy technician graduate, and Lenora Downing, vice president of Virginia and West Virginia regions.  Hilarie received the E.M Counter Award and graduated with high honors. 


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