Hundreds of Students Graduate, Ready for New Beginnings

RALEIGH, N.C. (December 14, 2019) - More than 800 students graduated today during Wake Tech’s Fall Commencement exercises. Two ceremonies were held in the gym on the college’s Scott Northern Wake Campus. Graduates ranging in age from 18 to 63 received degrees and diplomas in an array of areas including University Transfer and technical programs such as health sciences, applied engineering technologies, business and public services technologies, and information technology.

Wake Tech President Scott Ralls congratulated the students and wished them well. “I wish for you the happiness of future jobs and future wealth,” said Dr. Ralls. “But most of all I wish that you will always find and spread joy.”

Graduate Kaitlyn Walker delivered the commencement address at the first ceremony. Walker moved to North Carolina from Ohio for the express purpose of attending Wake Tech’s culinary program – and she received her Associate in Applied Science degree in Baking & Pastry Arts. She maintained a 3.95 GPA at Wake Tech while working full-time at Vidrio, a Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Raleigh. She also spearheaded a mentorship program for incoming students in Baking & Pastry Arts and won multiple American Culinary Federation (ACF) awards.  “I am graduating today after 10 years of starts and few finishes,” Walker said. “Celebrate where your ambition has brought you and anticipate where it might take you tomorrow.”

Graduate Jessica McGee gave the commencement speech during the second ceremony. She enrolled at Wake Tech after years of homeschooling and began as a high school student in the Career and College Promise program. McGee says she overcame shyness and social anxiety during her time at Wake Tech with the help of her professors and classmates. She excelled at her classes and became president of Wake Tech’s chapter of Sigma Delta Mu, the National Spanish Honor Society. McGee received her Associate in Arts degree and plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. “Everyone has the potential to make good grades and impress others with their educational prowess. I earned my degree by facing my fears and overcoming them.”   

Among the graduates were two students who got their start as students at the Vernon Malone College and Career Academy. Christian Martinez completed his degree in Biopharmaceutical Technology and is transferring to East Carolina University. Nathan Cox completed his degree in Electrical Systems Technology and is employed full-time for Sawyer Electric.

In the afternoon, another 133 students participated in a third ceremony for High School Equivalency and Adult High School graduates.

A new graduation tradition started today at the end of each ceremony. Dr. Ralls and members of the Wake Tech Board of Trustees joined faculty to congratulate the graduates as they left the gym with applause, hugs, and high fives! The music was upbeat and the atmosphere was electric! 

All three ceremonies were livestreamed on To view recordings of the ceremonies, visit  

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