Nearly 1,000 students receive degrees from ECTC

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Ceremony is the school's 49th

By Anna Taylor

Two hundred students walked across the stage Monday night to honor their degree completion at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.


In total, 962 students graduated with a degree this semester.

This May marks the community college’s 49th commencement ceremony.

“It is my pleasure and privilege to preside over this ceremony,” Thelma White, president and CEO of ECTC, said at the beginning of the ceremony held at Central Hardin High School. “This is a very, very special time for all of us as we begin our celebration of our college’s 50th anniversary.”

On the evening’s program was music provided by the ECTC Concert Band and Choristers and words of wisdom by guest speakers.

“Today you are here because you persevered,” said Michael Guerrieri, Student Government Association president. “Today you are here because you fought through every obstacle that stood in your way. Never give up and believe in your future.”

Tamera Caldwell, director of Workforce Strategies for UPS, was this year’s commencement speaker. A 1985 graduate of  Elizabethtown Community College, she explained to the graduates the definition of success is elusive.

“The honest truth is there is no clear-cut answer,” she said. “The definition of success lies within each one of us.”

Although the students were graduating Mon­day, some already are working in their field of study.

Daniel McGee, a nontraditional student, said he earned an industrial maintenance technology degree and electrical technology degree, industrial electrician, although he’s already working in Leitchfield. He said he loves his job but the degrees were necessary.

After various personal struggles, Sarah Gonzales completed an associate in science and human services degrees Monday night after enrolling at ECTC in 2011.

Gonzales plans to continue her education at Western Kentucky University with a career focus in psychology.

“I want to work with teens and young adolescents to help them overcome traumatic events and let them know there’s always a future,” Gonzales said. “Never give up.”

Anna Taylor can be reached at 270-505-1747 or ataylor@thenewsenterprise.com.