State Senator Robert Thompson of Paragould told BRTC’s graduating class they should anticipate those occasional “random, unexpected, and often unwelcome” times—times he termed the “black swan event”—during graduation ceremonies May 10 in the Randolph County Development Center. The approximately 186 graduates have, he observed, already taken a step in the right direction by completing their degrees and credentials.
Reading an excerpt from a book, Thompson noted the foolhardiness of those who, like “turkeys,” assume that times will always be as good as they are at present. “You,” he said to the collective class, “are well prepared. You have invested in a solid education.”
He noted economists estimate that college graduates are projected to earn around $570,000 more than high school graduates, and he praised the students and their families for the challenges they have overcome in the effort to earn their degrees.
Student spokesperson for the class Hannah Trammel spoke about the importance of taking advantage of the opportunities provided by BRTC. Among those, she pointed out, is the opportunity for those still in high school to complete concurrent credit, hastening the time it takes to complete a degree.
The daughter of Scott and Joniece Trammel, Hannah, who is only 18, spoke of the value of attaining her Associate of Arts degree and discussed her future plans. “Thanks to the wonderful concurrent program BRTC offers, I achieved 29 hours during my Pocahontas High School career. It was such a good experience to be able to do this. It helped to really transition me to college as well, and be able to recognize how college classes were going to be. I was surrounded by everyone I knew which gave me the comfort zone to learn the material I would learn in an actual college class. When I stepped into my first class on the BRTC campus I felt a sense of peace because it seemed I had already been in the college atmosphere before. Every concurrent class I took could transfer anywhere I was considering going.”
BRTC President Dr. Wayne Hatcher, assisted by Vice President for General Education Dr. Roger Johnson and Vice President for Technical Education Angie Caldwell presented diplomas to the graduates.