Saturday saw the start of a new tradition, and the start of a new chapter in the lives of many students, at Grayson College as the school held its first fall commencement for graduating students.

Saturday saw the start of a new tradition, and the start of a new chapter in the lives of many students, at Grayson College as the school held its first fall commencement for graduating students.


Grayson College recognised 595 students with associates degrees and certificates of completion on Saturday at the Cruce Stark Auditorium. On Friday, another commencement was held for Grayson’s nursing program, which awarded about 70 associates degrees in nursing.


"I hope my kids are proud of me," said Jamie Beckett, who received a University Transfer Degree. "I hope I set a good example for them."


"This is a combination of all the hard work from over the last few years, and a stepping stone for the rest of my life," said Jason Badgett, who received an associates degree in psychology.


Both Badgett and Backett plan on returning to Grayson to enroll in its nursing program, which was recently lauded for its high pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination.


"We are in the life transformation business here at Grayson College," said Grayson College President Jeremy McMillen.


McMillen awarded the 2013 President’s Award to Jessica Rushing, a hospitality graduate, for her active work with student organization and professional work while maintaining high grades.


Special thanks was given to the school staff who made the event possible, especially those who helped clear the area of ice after last week’s winter storm.


The address was give by Jonathan Shultz, a Grayson College theater alumnus, who graduated from the school in 1999.


"To this very day, I am indebted to this institution for teaching me things that ensured my success," said Shultz.


As students near a new part of their lives as college graduates, Shultz wished to give students advice, ranging from keeping healthy, keeping active and keeping happy, as they continue through life as college graduates.


"I want you to be successful by your own notions," he said. "I wish you luck in all your future endeavors … I wish you success."