Edmonds Community College will hold its 42nd annual commencement ceremony 7:30 p.m., Friday, June 19 at Edmonds Stadium, 7600 212 St. SW, Edmonds. In 2008-09, students at the college earned 1,819 degrees and certificates. The graduates range in age from 66 to 14.
The student commencement speakers are Dulcie Chase, 43, of Lynnwood and Paul Morrison, 43, of Edmonds. Chase has four young adult sons and a daughter age 7. Morrison has two sons ages 18, 11, and a daughter, 10. Both will speak about the importance of pursuing education and lifelong learning to inspire and create opportunity for future generations.
Chase has earned her Associate of Arts degree. She serves on the Edmonds CC Associated Students Executive Board as the Executive Officer for Community Relations. During her service on the board, the Associated Students have built a new student center on campus.
Chase would like to go on to earn her bachelor’s degree. Her first stop after Edmonds Community College, however, will be the hospital. Chase has primary biliary cirrhosis and is in need of a liver transplant. She deferred being put on a waiting list for a transplant so that she could be sure to complete her college degree.
“No matter what happened to me, I knew the best lasting legacy I could give my children was an example. Education is important,” she said. “I wanted them to see that if you set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything, regardless of how impossible it seems.”
Morrison has earned his two-year Associate of Technical Arts in Accounting degree. He formerly trained and worked in watch repair and came to the college to update his skills and train for an in-demand career.
“I wanted my career to evolve. It’s important to keep acquiring knowledge,” he said. “Now all of my skills are updated, not outdated.”
Morrison plans to seek work as a corporate accountant. He will also put his accounting skills to work immediately in his wife's jewelry appraisal company: christineappraisal.com. He also intends to earn a project management certificate at Edmonds Community College. His oldest son, Jordan, also attended Edmonds CC as a Running Start student. He graduates from Kamiak High School this year.
Also, among this year’s graduates are brother and sister Sara and Brandon Kizer, of Lynnwood. They both received TRIAD Advanced Manufacturing grants to help pay for their tuition and have earned Associate of Applied Science-T degrees in Materials Science Technology. In the materials science program, they gained hands-on in experience with composite materials, including projects to design and build prosthetic legs and a windmill — the college's first foray into renewable energy. Brandon, 19, plays baseball for the Tritons. He will go on to play baseball at Seattle University while studying engineering. Sara, 21, will seek work in the aerospace industry before pursuing her bachelor’s degree.
Sara said her best college experience was, “Getting good grades and watching my brother play baseball.”
The youngest graduate this year is Kayla Heard, 14, of Union, Wash. Kayla, homeschooled by her mother, Marlyn, completed high school at age 10. She took online classes to earn her Associate of Arts degree. She is already enrolled and taking online classes at Washington State University with plans to pursue law school.
Highlights of the 2008-09 school year for the college include:
• Training more chefs and culinary artists in a newly remodeled cafeteria, kitchen, and fine-dining restaurant;
• Building a new residence hall for students, Rainier Place opens in fall 2009;
• Opening the Triton Student Center and new bookstore;
• Receiving a $1.9 million federal Title III grant to boost tracking of students’ academic progress, ultimately resulting in greater student success;
• Receiving a $1.4 million grant for international education from the U.S. Department of State to begin the Northwest Colleges Egypt Initiative; and
• Renewing accreditation with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and reaffirming the college’s high standard of educational quality and institutional integrity.--###--