ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech Student Services Vice President Dr. Dennis King urged graduates to share their newly attained knowledge with others, as part of the responsibility that comes with success, during Summer Commencement at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.
“Charge for it (the knowledge) fairly, if you are in a position of setting fees. Give it away to the less fortunate who nevertheless need your skills. And comfort those who come to you stressed by a problem that you can solve. That’s being a professional, as well as being a good person,” commencement speaker King said.
King also reminded the graduates to remain current and continue on a path of lifelong learning, to be open to change, to be humble and ethical, to mentor others as soon as they are able and to be a “round” person.
“E. M. Forster, the renowned 20th-century author, classified fictional characters as flat or round. Flat characters are predictable, simple, one dimensional, whereas round characters are unpredictable, complex, and multi-faceted,” King said. “Forster went on to say that round characters are the truly interesting ones. That truth can be taken beyond fiction and into life itself. You want to be not only a health care professional, but one who volunteers at the local homeless shelter; not only an auto mechanic, but a mechanic with a political opinion; not only a chef, but one who loves baseball. Find the outside interest that makes you a round character.”
During the ceremony, President Emeritus and Trustee Harvey Haynes called for a moment of silence for fellow trustee J. Herbert Coman, who died July 13. Coman’s cap and gown were placed in an empty chair in his memory.
A-B Tech Interim President Richard Mauney presented the Staff Member of the Year Award to Tamala Barnett, Arts and Sciences division secretary. “I am especially pleased to present this award to Tamala because she is one of our very own graduates,” Mauney said. “When the Arts and Sciences dean’s secretary retired a few years ago, Tamala took on those responsibilities in addition to her other ones for several months, while we hired and trained a replacement for Tamala so she could move into the vacant position.”
Dr. Sam Dosumu, Instructional Services vice president, awarded Continuing Education Faculty Member of the Year to Gary Crossey, a computer training instructor. One of Crossey’s students who nominated him for the award wrote, “Gary not only has his finger constantly on the pulse of new technology, but more importantly, he knows how to explain it to the students and help us stay excited about the class subject matter. His teaching style is very personal and fun. He has patience and easily encourages creativity.”
The College had 188 students complete the requirements to earn 189 degrees and diplomas for the August graduation including a posthumous Associate in Arts degree presented to the family of Reed Ignizio, who died in a drowning accident in June. Ignizio, who would have graduated with high honors, was also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and had received a Carolina Covenant scholarship to attend UNC-Chapel Hill.