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Record Number of Students Graduate at 50th Commencement

May 24, 2012
COMMENCEMENT

  A record 1,998* students will graduate May 24 at the 50th Annual Commencement of Anne Arundel Community College.

The college will award 1,500 degrees* and 637 certificates*. Officials expect about 600 graduates to participate in the Commencement ceremony under the tent on the Athletic Practice Field on the Arnold campus. In comparison, the class of 2011 had 1,979 graduates awarded 2,177 degrees and certificates, with about 491 students participating.

Delivering the keynote address this year is AACC President Martha A. Smith, Ph.D., who is retiring, Aug. 1 after 18 years at the college. Focusing on Students First, Smith implemented a strategic planning process to make the college more responsive to the needs of students, the community and business partners. She has continued to provide support programs for student success and put plans in place to continue improving completion. A tireless advocate of community colleges at the state, regional and national levels, Smith serves on numerous boards, commissions and workforce organizations. Three Maryland governors appointed her to the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board and she was named an Influential Marylander by The Daily Record this spring.

Students honored for academic achievements include:

  • 151 associate degree recipients who earned summa cum laude honors with a grade point average of 3.8 to 4.0
  • 167 associate degree recipients who received magna cum laude honors with a GPA of 3.6 to 3.79
  • 215 associate degree recipients who earned cum laude honors with a GPA of 3.4 to 3.59

The valedictorian, presidential scholar and student marshals are selected through interviews with students who earned a 4.0 GPA and took at least 50 credits at AACC. Not every qualified student chose to compete for these honors.

Valedictorian
The valedictorian is Michael Jeffrey Fahrner of Riva, who is earning an Associate of Science in the Engineering Transfer program. He is transferring this fall to the engineering program at University of Maryland College Park.

Presidential Scholar
Selected as the 2012 Presidential Scholar is Mary Kathryn Brunk of Crownsville. She is earning an Associate of Science in the Science and Premedical Professional program with a concentration in Biology. She will continue her education at University of Maryland Baltimore County. The recipient of this honor is a graduate who has completed the program of study within two years.

Student Marshals
Leading the graduates are six student marshals:

  • Kimberly A. Downey of Annapolis, Associate of Applied Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
  • Sydney Elise Gambill of Severna Park, Associate of Arts in Transfer Studies
  • Anna Elizabeth Loftness of Bowie, Associate of Arts in Fine Arts, Music Option
  • Tsolmontoya Saran of Pasadena, Associate of Science in Business Administration Transfer
  • Larry A. Silver of Pasadena, Associate of Applied Science in Business Management
  • Daniel Z. Stern of Crofton, Associate of Science in Business Administration Transfer

College Grand Marshal
Andrew L. Meyer, Ed.D., of Baltimore, vice president of learning since 2000, will be the College Grand Marshal, a position chosen by the president to lead the processional and commencement ceremonies. Meyer is retiring from AACC July 1, after more than two decades of providing senior leadership as a member of the president’s executive team, an officer of the college and the chief academic officer as well as the chief continuing education officer. Under his leadership, AACC has received national, regional and state awards for programs and faculty. (more)

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