Vermont Technical College Celebrates 147th Commencement

10 May 2013

RANDOLPH, Vt. — On Saturday, May 4, Vermont Technical College celebrated the school’s 147th annual commencement ceremony. Taking place at Norwich University’s Shapiro Fieldhouse in Northfield, Vt., approximately 500 Vermont Tech students graduated with associate and bachelor’s degrees.

“I know many of you came to Vermont Tech with a dream – you came to Vermont Tech to gain the skills and knowledge to act on the development of that dream,” said Vermont Tech President Dr. Philip Conroy to the graduating class. “Don’t wait to act on that dream – keep it in front of you and with the knowledge you have acquired during your studies, begin to act on it now.”

This year’s commencement speech was delivered by Gordon Sprague, a successful farmer and businessperson that was raised on a family dairy farm in East Brookfield, Vt. Mr. Sprague emphasized the importance of the graduates thanking their support systems, and gave a series of advising points to inspire them as they enter the workforce. Mr. Sprague was also awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Science, honoris causa.
“Don’t let your fears overcome your desire,” advised Mr. Sprague. “Let the obstacles you fear, and there will be obstacles, be external. Not internal.”

Computer Software Engineering student Charles Hathaway delivered the student address, where he spoke about the important life lessons he learned during his time at Vermont Tech and thanked the parents, teachers, mentors and peers that made this accomplishment possible for all graduates.

“Even if you had to take a year off to get things together, all of you are here because you managed to overcome all the challenges and graduate from one of the top technical schools in the Northeast,” said Hathaway. “The degree you are graduating with involved a ton of hard work and studying. You should be very proud to be graduating.”

A number of scholastic and athletic awards were recognized at the ceremony, with Academic Program Awards honored to Eden Monteith, Whitney Brooks, Amy L. Rollins, Daniel Scott Rapoza, Laura Conrad, Kristen Gonyaw, Megan Jenks, Peydon Wright, Alyssa Cassanelli, Sandra Elliott and Molly Champine. Student Technician of the Year Nominees were Karen Alence, John “Cam” Christopher, Aaron Koss and Chirs Nealy, and Student Engineer of the Year Nominees were Brett Barhight, Blaine Conner, Charles Hathaway and Jeffrey Pynduss. The Community Service Award went to Edwin Gast and Faculty Awards to Theodore Gillen, Alex Gay, Blaine Conner and Karen Alence. Memorial Awards were given to Jeffrey Wilder, Yekaterina Khomenko, Emily Waldrip, Jennifer Legere, Heidi Lucas, Brendan Rowley and John “Cam” Christopher.

Association Awards were presented to Emily Thompson, Rebekka Dimik, Kristen Gulrajani, Warren Irish, Kelly Pellegrino, James Taylor, Jonathan Dufour, James Peate, Erica Dukette and Kristen Gagnon. Fifty-five students were also recognized in the Sigma Phi Alpha, Phi Theta Kappa, Tau Alpha Pi and Alpha Delta Nu Honor Societies.

Students receiving Athletic Awards included Ramsey Allen, Alyssa Cassanelli, Ryan Follensbee, Matthew Golden, Joshua Lindsey, James Myers, Brittney Osborne, Brigham Reese, Alex Tyrrell, Amanda C. Baker, Ashley Lockerby, Kelly Vellek, Tabitha Totten and Kyle Wells.
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About Vermont Technical College – Vermont Technical College is the only public institution of higher learning in Vermont whose mission is applied education. One of the five Vermont State Colleges, Vermont Tech serves students from throughout Vermont, New England, and beyond at its two residential campuses in Williston and Randolph Center, regional campuses in Brattleboro and Bennington and at six nursing campuses located throughout the state. Our academic programs encompass a wide range of engineering technology, agricultural, health, and business fields that are vital to producing the knowledge workers need most by employers in the state and in the region.