Barton Community College graduate Devan Boeger is shown during commencement, Thursday night at BCC, after being presented an award.
Devan Boeger, left, and Deedra Richard received Phi Theta Kappa on Thursday during the 2012 commencement ceremony at Barton Community College.
Brigadier General Donald M. MacWillie speaks at Barton’s 2012 commencement. His decorations include the Army Distinguished Service Medal.
Graduates at Barton Community College’s 2012 commencement were reminded to serve others as they begin the next phase of their lives. It’s a habit that many of the college’s students have already practiced, Dean Angie Maddy said.
“Undoubtedly, this evening represents the very best of Barton,” Maddy said. She introduced the Outstanding Graduates, Devan Boeger and Anna Voss, who are both student athletes, honor graduates and members of Phi Theta Kappa honor society. They are also involved in the community.
The keynote speaker, Brigadier General Donald M. MacWillie from Fort Riley, also talked about helping others.
“When I think about Barton Community College, I think about service,” he said, mentioning a few of the things students have been involved in: Big Brothers/Big Sisters, a fundraiser for the Family Crisis Center and the related Walk a Mile in her Shoes, which had men walking in red high heels to help victims of domestic violence.
While students may have less time after graduation, Gen. MacWillie encouraged them to continue to serve.
“Regardless of what you do ... the responsible U.S. citizen will take part in and give back to their communities,” he said.
The general ended his brief speech with words heard daily at the Big Red One: “There’s no mission too difficult, there’s no sacrifice too great; duty first.”
The Outstanding Graduates also spoke. Voss, in addition to her other talents, served as editor of the student newspaper. Her parting words to fellow graduates was, “Reach beyond you goals, and have a happy life.”
Boeger and Deedra Richard received Phi Theta Kappa recognition. Boeger was also recognized with the Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar Award, a prestigious national honor recognizing only the top 0.1 percent of the 125,000 members of Phi Theta Kappa.
Barton Vice President Dr. Penny Quinn cited her favorite quote from Boeger, in an interview she did with USA Today: “I was raised to work hard and care about what I do.”
However, Boeger’s advice to fellow graduates was to heed seemingly small things, being thankful for teachers, friends and family. “Don’t give up your big dreams,” Boeger said, “but never neglect the little things.”
Barton’s Board of Trustees awarded certificates and diplomas to students.