Terra State Community College holds 52nd Commencement ceremony

Nursing student and faculty
Nursing graduate Linda Robinson looks to nursing instructor Angie Wood.

Terra State Community College honored the 51st and 52nd graduating classes at commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 7. To recognize graduates in person while adhering with social distancing rules, each division had a separate ceremony, with graduates allowed to invite four guests. A livestream was available so that other friends and family could attend virtually.

Terra State President Dr. Ron Schumacher announced that in the 52nd graduating class, 178 students are graduating with associate degrees in 27 fields and 88 students have earned a certificate. Additionally, the age range of graduates was 16 years old to 60 years old, 16 graduates were in high school as part of the College Credit Plus (CCP) initiative, 11 students achieved a 4.0 GPA, 68 students earned a GPA of 3.5 or higher, seven were student employees and 12 are veterans.

Jessica Braden of Bellevue, an accounting graduate, delivered the student speaker address. She spoke about the hardships that she and fellow students faced and how they remained positive to focus on their classes during the pandemic. She affirmed that her fellow graduates are not powerless, but powerful.

“We are strong. We are intelligent and determined. We are resilient – there are a lot of possibilities for you in the future, but it is up to you to explore them,” said Braden.

Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted provided the commencement address virtually. He encouraged students to persevere through difficult times in the future as they have during the pandemic.

“How you react to the good and the bad at times in life is not only what builds your character, but it will shape your future…the most important thing is that you learn from the mistakes you make and reflect on what you could have done better,” said Husted.

Thomas Gluth, who earned his Associate of Applied Science in Manufacturing Technology and will graduate from Fremont Ross High School as valedictorian later this month, reflected on his own personal growth from the past four years at Terra State. Gluth will continue his education at the University of Toledo this fall, with a future goal of helping create safer vehicles.

“I will develop a deeper heart and become a bigger person in the future from staying up until 3 a.m. to get my schoolwork done to be a week ahead, just so I can go to work and attend high school. You just find a new level within yourself, and I think that those layers will continue to build up from my leadership, communication and education experiences at Terra State,” said Gluth.

President Schumacher left the graduates with one piece of advice: “Never stop learning! Remember, you must always champion the call to learn. It is the hope and expectation of our entire community college that Terra State has not only planted the seeds of learning in you, but that you will share your leadership and learning wherever that journey takes you.”