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EFSC Students, Families Celebrate Spring Graduation
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May 12, 2022 - Eastern Florida State College students celebrated Spring Commencement on Thursday as they commemorated earning their diplomas amid fanfare from family and friends.
More than 1,700 students were eligible to graduate with almost 600 walking across the stage during the 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. ceremonies at the King Center for the Performing Arts on the Melbourne Campus.
Among the graduates in the second ceremony was Tre'Mayne Giscombe who achieved an amazing trifecta as a high school student who spent his senior year at Eastern Florida as part of the Early Admission Dual Enrollment program.
The 18-year-old is earning both an Associate in Arts degree and Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management from Eastern Florida this spring, plus will receive his high school diploma from Palm Bay's Heritage High on May 20 before heading to the MBA program at Hamline University in Minnesota.
"I have always been an educational child — I always liked reading, liked finding information about things so school came along a little easier for me," said Giscombe who also had parental approval to live in the EFSC student housing on the Melbourne campus during the past school year.
"I had teachers advise me and help me with what the next step should be. There are a bunch of people who have helped me along the way."
Another Dual Enrolled high school graduate who maximized her time at EFSC is Victoria Hopkins: "I am graduating from Cocoa High School and I earned my A.A. today and I got a full ride to Notre Dame for Aerospace Engineering."
Morning ceremony graduate Deatay Karto of Melbourne plans to continue on and earn a nursing degree after receiving her Associate in Arts degree this spring at EFSC.
"I like that it's small. You get the one-on-one attention with your professor and not only that but they have great, great professors who are willing to help and that's important," said Karto.
Also earning an A.A. degree this spring is Te'Quan Ross who is moving on to the University of Central Florida through the DirectConnect transfer program to major in computer science.
"I was able to do my first two years and then step into the next chapter of my life," said Ross. "It's a good stepping stone and opens up the door for a lot of opportunities."
The students were applauded by College President Dr. Jim Richey, who noted their journey took them through the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic and that getting to this day had been extremely hard.
“You stayed the course despite the severe stress and unprecedented challenges you faced, “ said Richey.
“In doing so, you reached deep down inside yourselves and found strength you may not know you had.
“That fortitude is not something that can be taught in the classroom. Rather, it speaks to your character, to who you really are, in a way that you can draw on again and again in the years ahead.
“If COVID couldn’t stop you, nothing can. I am immensely proud of every one of you,” he said.
Richey also thanked the graduates’ family members and friends “who stood by you amid the worst days of the pandemic.”
Graduates, family and friends are encouraged to post their photos and videos from the day on social media using the hashtag #EFSCGrad so they can be part of the virtual social wall.
The students join more than 125,000 other graduates who have earned their diplomas from the college since it opened in 1960 with one campus in Cocoa.
In the decades since, the college has grown to four campuses that stretch from Titusville to Palm Bay and expanded the student life experiences to include student housing on the Melbourne campus.
"What I will remember the most about coming to Eastern Florida is the great environment in the Student Union, everyone there, the front desk help, and all the friends I made there is definitely among the best part of my experience here," said A.A. graduate Kaitlyn Thurner, who is transferring to UCF to pursue an engineering bachelor's degree.
To learn more about EFSC and the programs it offers, visit easternflorida.edu.