A record 1,998* students graduated May 24 at the 50th Annual Commencement of Anne Arundel Community College.
The college awarded 1,500 degrees* and 637 certificates.* About 600 graduates participated 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 was AACC President Martha A. Smith, Ph.D., who is retiring, Aug. 1 after 18 years at the college. Smith, a tireless advocate of community colleges at the state, regional and national levels, urged students to find something they are passionate about and make that their lives’ work. Throughout her talk, she led the students in chants – “Always do what you love” and “Love what you do.”
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; and 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.
The 2012 valedictorian is Michael Jeffrey Fahrner of Riva, who earned an Associate of Science in the Engineering Transfer program. He is transferring this fall to the engineering program at University of Maryland College Park.
Selected as the 2012 Presidential Scholar is Mary Kathryn Brunk of Crownsville. She earned 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.
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*The numbers of graduates, degrees and certificates are unofficial and change after all grades and appeals have been finalized.