QCS Senior Writer
Mesalands Community College’s President Thomas Newsom urged Mesalands’ 2014 graduates to take pride in their associate’s degrees, certificates and General Education Diplomas and continue to pursue new achievements and goals and reach and surpass their potential.
In all, 35 associates, 35 certificates and 19 GED graduates walked across the stage during Friday’s commencement ceremony at the Tucumcari Convention Center.
These were the first students to graduate under Newsom’s administration as Mesalands president.
“I am fairly new to you students and this is the first of many graduations I hope attend as president of Mesalands,” Newsom said.
Newsom noted that Mesalands’ wind turbine looks for wind 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and that the turbine’s sensors continuously work to help the blades achieve maximum potential.
“Like those turning blades, you graduates are now in position for success,” Newsom said. “Although, just like the turbine’s endless search for wind, you too should never just be satisfied with your achievements, you should continue to work towards improvement.”
The commencement speaker was state Rep. Dennis Roch (R-Logan), who told the graduates their achievements at Mesalands have made them a source of inspiration to others.
“Many of you may think, that you are not a source of inspiration,” Roch said. “While you may not believe it, your hard work to get here today may have inspired a co-worker, sibling or even a child to pursue a college education or to earn their high school diploma.”
Roch, noting that this is a summer of blockbuster superhero movies, said that real superheros, not the screen fictions, were at the graduation, even without capes or utility belts.
“These heroes are the single moms and dads who took one class at a time to earn a degree,” Dennis said. “They are the men and women who committed themselves to do the work in order to better their lives despite the adversities they met along the way.”
Roch said each graduate had people who stood behind him or her, helping him or her to overcome the adversities along the way. He said these people supported the graduates and would not let them quit when things got difficult.
“Those people who stood behind you, now sit behind you at your graduation ceremony,” Roch said. “Parents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, children and friends. Whoever they may be, however they may have helped, they are here with you now, proud and inspired by what you have achieved.”
Roch said for the new Mesalands graduates, “’the sky is the limit and you are about to soar.”
Board of Trustees’ Chairman J. Bronson Moore conferred degrees, certificates and diplomas on the graduates..
“This has been a goal of mine for many years,” said Johnny Aughtman, GED graduate.
Aughtman said he had found time to pursue his GED after he was laid off from work. He said earning his GED would give him a chance to provide better for his family.
“It was not easy, though because of my struggle and effort to earn my diploma I now have a better paying job,” Aughtman said. “I did it for my family and could not have done it without their support.”