BCCC sets recordPublished 9:38pm Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Beaufort County Community College President Barbara Tansey gets goose bumps every time she attends a commencement.
“And when that stops happening, I’ll know that I’ll need to get into a different line of business,” she said.
Tansey had 272 reasons for her goose bumps as she watched the largest graduating class in the school’s history walk across the stage Friday night.
BCCC handed out 272 degrees Friday night in a packed Washington High School Performing Arts Center.
“It was exciting to see so many people were excited to get their degrees,” Tansey said. “And there were so many proud families.”
Whether this class is the start of a new trend or a one-time phenomenon, Tansey could not say.
“We really don’t know at any new point and time we don’t know how many students are on track to graduate,” she said.
Tansey has seen enrollment creep up 1 percent at a time in the last few years. Her theory: people returned to school after the economy hit a downturn.
“And if that’s true, we may see a decline next year,” she said.
BCCC Board of Trustees Chairman Russell Smith said the size of the class is a testament to the college.
“I think that it speaks well of how we’re meeting the needs of our service area,” he said.
The college serves Beaufort, Hyde, Terrell and Washington counties. Leah Yates received one of the degrees. The Roper resident earned an associate degree in nursing.
“It’s been the longest three years of my life. I couldn’t ask for better instructors than I had here,” Yates said standing at the end of the graduating line. “This is the best feeling ever.”
Kenneth Worsley earned an associate degree in human-services technology.
“I feel great, wonderful,” he said. “I accomplished something.”
“I hope tonight isn’t the end of your studies, but the start of a new and better life,” Smith told the graduates. “I am so glad and thrilled that you chose Beaufort County Community College. Tell your friends about it. Tell them the good parts, anyway.”