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Spring Graduates Celebrate at Commencement

Two brothers in blue caps and gowns hold medallions in front of Congratulations 2024 banner
Brothers Ethan and Caleb Pucylowski both completed their Associate in Arts degrees as dual enrolled home education students and plan to attend Duke University on full academic scholarships.

May 09, 2024

EFSC Commencement Photos: View Flickr Albums

Watch: Ceremony YouTube Replays

Eastern Florida State College's spring graduates marked an educational and life milestone Thursday during two Commencement ceremonies on the Melbourne campus.

More than 1,700 students were candidates to graduate Spring term with about 800 taking part in the 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. ceremonies at the King Center for the Performing Arts.

Among them were brothers Caleb, 18, and Ethan Pucylowski, 16, who completed their Associate in Arts (A.A.) degrees with perfect grades as dual-enrolled home education students, and both plan to study quantum computing at Duke University on full academic scholarships.

“Today signifies stepping from our high school lives into our college lives and it shows how much we've grown over the last four years,” said Ethan. “Excited to graduate from college — especially to graduate so young.”

male and female in blue caps and gowns holding diplomas
Connor and Kylie Bowen

Also having family ties at commencement were mother Kylie Bowen, who earned her A.A. with a perfect 4.0 grade point average nearly 20 years after she put college on hold to have her son Connor, who also graduated with his A.A. Thursday while dual enrolled at Heritage H.S.

Connor is headed to FAU and his mom will return to EFSC to earn a Bachelor of Applied Science focused on HR.

In the fun back and forth during their interview, Kylie said, “It's been a long time coming and I'm just extremely proud of all of his hard work. If I can do it with four kids, you can do it.”

Which prompted Connor to add, “You've worked way harder than me,” and mom to chime in, “I had to. I have to set the example.”

College President Dr. Jim Richey congratulated all the spring graduates, saying, “You are the Titan Nation. You are graduating from an institution that creates opportunity, fosters innovation, and has given you the tools you need to achieve success and make a difference wherever you go.”

“On this special day, my advice to you is simple. Use that focused determination to advance your careers and live your best life, And don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We all make them. Sometimes those very mistakes provide us with the clarity and conviction we need to get back on track.”

three men in front of Class of 2024 banner; one in cap and gown and two in blue EFSC polo shirts
Welmon Speed Jr., TriO Asst. Director, graduate Alex West, and TriO Director Eric Moss celebrate at Commencement.

Staying on track to earn his A.A. degree following a U.S. Navy career that included working with radar equipment is Alex West, who is moving on to UCF through the Direct Connect program to study electrical engineering.

As a veteran and first-generation college student, West took advantage of support programs such as EFSC's Military and Veterans Service Center and TRiO, which provides academic support and other free services.

“It surrounded me with amazing people who are trying to better themselves, like me. They encouraged me to never give up and provided tutoring,” said West.

“Honestly, I didn't even think I would ever go back to school again, let alone be getting my degree. I signed my Naval contract at 16 and left for bootcamp at 17. But my biggest accomplishments so far are being able to balance a full-time schedule while working and taking care of everything at home by myself.”

Both ceremonies were broadcast live on WEFS-TV and livestreamed via YouTube. Commencement replays can be viewed on the College’s YouTube channel at

Graduates, family, and friends are encouraged to post their photos and videos on social media using the hashtag #EFSCGrad so they can be part of the virtual social wall.

EFSC's newest alumni join more than 125,000 others who have earned their diplomas from the college since it opened in 1960 with one campus in Cocoa. Today four campuses span the Space Coast from Titusville to Palm Bay with almost four dozen associate, bachelor, and certificate programs also available completely online.

To learn more about EFSC and the nearly 150 programs it offers, visit

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