The Press Newspaper
More than 800 Owens Community College students were awarded degrees in various academic disciplines during the academic institution’s 46th annual Spring Commencement ceremony.
For 57-year-old Geraldine Davis of Toledo, an English major, spring commencement represented a new beginning.
“My college education has been a huge lift to my confidence and has made me a better writer,” stated Davis, whose first novel titled “Suspended” is set to debut in July. “Graduating from Owens means achievement and accomplishment. I never thought that graduating from college was a possibility several years ago. Now at the age of 57, I can say that anything is possible.”
According to mathematics major Andrew Hartke, of Oregon, obtaining his associate’s degree is the first step toward his career goal of becoming an educator.
“I am very excited about the first step in my educational journey,” said 30-year-old Hartke, who has also helped his fellow students in their educational pursuits as a peer mentor, tutor and supplemental instruction leader. “Walking across the stage and receiving my college degree is very special and something that was far from my mind when I was a retail manager. Now, I have my associate’s degree and look forward to continuing my education at Bowling Green State University.”
Andrea Price, president and chief executive officer of Mercy, Northern Region, who served as the keynote speaker for the commencement, shared some words of advice and encouragement for the graduating class with the overall theme of becoming societal contributors.
“Success is not only measured by the difference that you make, but also by the determination that it takes,” Price said. “You have the same number of hours in every day as Edison, Lincoln, Galileo, Mother Theresa, Thoreau, King, da Vinci, Mandela and Einstein. The world needed them. The world needs you. Make every minute count.”
Loral Browning, known as Mike to his friends and family, was selected as the Owens class representative and addressed the graduates.
The 59-year-old Toledo resident earned his associate’s degree in marketing and sales technology with a financial services sales option. Before enrolling at Owens, Browning was employed in the food industry as a distributor for 38 years. He never missed a paycheck until 2010, when he lost his job.
In addition to the honor of being chosen to address the graduating class, Browning, a 1971 Start High School graduate, achieved a 3.8 grade point average and is a member of the Kappa Beta Delta and Chi Alpha Epsilon national honor societies. He also served as a student representative of Owens on an international study tour to China in May 2011.