By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer
Clovis Community College students will be making the next step with graduation this week.
The college is set for its 24th convocation, with a 6 p.m. Friday ceremony at the Clovis Civic Center.
Lisa Spencer, director of marketing for the college, said there are tentatively 198 students set to graduate this week. They’ll take part in the ceremony, which includes former New Mexico governor Gary Carruthers, the current dean of New Mexico State’s College of Business, and Anais Molina, a student speaker who stayed to continue her nursing education despite her husband’s military deployment.
Today, however, marks another piece of student accomplishment. The civic center will host a 1:30 p.m. nurses pinning ceremony for 63 nursing students. Spencer said the graduation class includes eight males — the highest total she can recall — and the ceremony is one of the largest she remembers as well.
“It was getting so large,” Spencer said, “we couldn’t accommodate everyone in the gym.”
Spencer said the college is also awarding a pair of $600 scholarships for the first time, a creation of CCC faculty and staff.
President John Niebling said in a release the CCC Faculty Merit Scholarship is an example of the college responding to the needs of its students during difficult economic times. It was created through financial gifts to the CCC Foundation from faculty and administrators.
Terry Davis, president of the association and an instructor at the college, said it was also a good way to reward academic merit.
“These scholarships are a token of the esteem and appreciation held by the faculty for students striving for academic excellence,” Davis said. “We believe it is important to give back to the college and to our students.”
The scholarships will go to Ashley Lopez and Sarah Dobson.
According to a release from the college, Lopez is a sophomore nursing major at CCC with a 4.0 grade point average. She is planning to pursue a master’s degree in nursing, and volunteers with Helping Hands Hospice and Big Sky Kids, a camp for cancer patients.
Dobson is a senior at Clovis High School taking dual credit classes at CCC, and plans to pursue a career in radiological technology.