On May 12, Technical College of the Rockies (TCR) graduated 32 practical nursing students at the Delta Center for Performing Arts and Education. Graduation marks the completion of rigorous study and clinical responsibility.
All in attendance were welcomed by Michael Klouser, TCR director. The graduation ceremony opened with Birdie Young, TCR nursing coordinator, congratulating members of the Class of 2018 on all their hard work and accomplishments. She then gave a brief history of the nursing program to the audience. The TCR nursing program became nationally accredited in 2010.
The class invited Douglas Fields, Ph.D., to be guest speaker. Fields is chief of the nervous system development and plasticity section at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md. His daughter, Morgan, was one of the graduates.
Class speakers Gail Pagone and Christian McPeek delivered motivating speeches.
Birdie Young then presented three special awards. The academic award was presented to LeeAnn Downey, and the faculty award went to Mary Riddle. The annual kindness awards were presented to Laura Kruthaupt and Vickie Hagan.
Birdie Young then explained how the ceremony of pinning the graduates began in the 1860s with Florence Nightingale. This year's graduates chose to be pinned by their family and friends.
The 2018 graduating class included Michael Adcock, Koree Beyer, Janie Bravo, Sarah Christianson, Shelby Christianson, Veronica Coleman, Tarra Daniels, Eric Downey, LeeAnn Downey, Stephanie Doyal, Kali Estrada, Amanda Evans, Morgan Fields, Vickie Hagan, Fawnalea Hall, Aurora Hannigan, Ruth Hernandez, Alyssa Isaman, Austin Justice, Kyla Kille, Laura Kruthaupt, Sonia Lopez, Christian McPeek, Brandon Meredith, Chijindu (Byron) Nwigwe, Gail Pagone, Leticia Paz, Mary Riddle, Sierra Shaw, Cody Wentz, Aiyana White and Jessica Williams.
A very moving slideshow of each student was shown as they were called to the stage by Jeanne Nortrup, nursing secretary, and pinned by their family and friends. They moved on to receive their diplomas by the nursing program instructional team, represented by Birdie Young, RN, MSN, instructor; Judy Davis, RN, MSN, instructor; Jean Anne Robb, RN, MSN, instructor; Therese Williams, RN, BSN, instructor; Hilary Showalter, RN, BSN; and Amber Perkins, clinical instructor.
The students then participated in the Nightingale candlelighting ceremony, lighting their individual candles and descending to a position in front of the stage as a group.
Birdie Young presented the Class of 2018 to the audience.
The motto chosen by the class is from Dr. Seuss: "To the world you may be one person but ... to one person you may be the world."