Wake Tech Holds 47th Annual Commencement Exercises
RALEIGH, N.C. (May 23, 2010) - Wake Technical Community College graduated the largest class in its history today at the Raleigh Convention Center. More than 1,300 graduates, about 28% more than last year, received degrees and diplomas. That's 28% more graduates than last year. More than 500 graduates participated in the ceremony.
"We're truly blessed in North Carolina to have this college and, more importantly, these graduates," said U.S. Senator Richard Burr, this year's commencement speaker. He applauded graduates for forging ahead with their education in the face of economic uncertainty and dared them to "think big" about what they could accomplish in the future.
Graduates ranged in age from 17 to 67. Among them were the first graduates of the Wake Early College of Health and Sciences, a partnership between Wake Tech, Wake County Public Schools and WakeMed Health and Hospitals. The program allows students to earn an associate's degree while completing high school. Alyssa Parry, Student Government Association President and Early College graduate told the crowd that, "going to Wake Tech was one of the best decisions of my life!"
The ceremony also featured the first graduate of Wake Tech's Baking and Pastry Arts program. Forty-eight year old former secretary Charlene Miller says she plans to open her own bakery. Meanwhile, husband and wife Aneya and Gregory Gibbs both received their Associate in Arts degree and plan to transfer to N.C. Central University to pursue bachelor's degrees in social work. "We encouraged and supported each other," they said.
Wake Tech President Dr. Stephen Scott advised the graduates to "take what you've learned here and use it to make a better life for you, your family and for our country."
Graduates by program:
- 375 students graduated with an Associate in Arts degree, and 83 with an Associate in Science, up from 287 and 57 respectively. Many of these A.A. and A.S. graduates are on their way to 4-year degrees and will be transferring their Wake Tech credit hours to another college or university.
- 159 students graduated in Applied Technologies (trades) programs - the largest group of Applied Technologies graduates in the history of Wake Tech. The number of graduates in HVAC, Electrical and Construction Management is double from last year. Local companies are in constant contact with Wake Tech and recruit heavily from among these graduates.
- 239 students graduated with degrees in Business Technologies - accounting, office systems, business administration, hotel and restaurant management, child care, criminal justice technology, and culinary technology.
- 244 students graduated in Health Sciences disciplines - nursing, x-ray technologists, dental hygienists, and other allied health professions. Wake Tech continues to meet the region's ongoing demand for health care professionals.
- 206 students graduated with degrees in computer and engineering technologies. Local and regional demand is holding steady for IT specialists, civil engineers, game developers and other graduates in these fields.