The 2015 graduates of Skagit Community College are few in number but rich in background and diversity, as Thomas Keegan said, President of Skagit Valley College.
The seven graduates came from all walks of life. Some recent graduates of high school, some finishing a GED years after leaving high school, and some continuing higher education they never pursued in their youth.
“It took a long time to get here, but it’s exciting. And a little scary,” said Barbara Everson, who is receiving a transfer degree to attend Western Washington University in the fall for psychology and philosophy. “It’s a very open field, and there are a lot of different directions to take. Now the really hard work begins.”
One of the class speakers, Denise Ireland, spoke of her difficulty in getting through college the first and second time around, dropping out twice during the 70s. Describing herself as an instant gratification junkie, the length and effort put into a degree didn’t seem worth it at the time.
Now, Ireland said, the value of education had become apparent to her with age, “Education has become to me what endorphins are to an athlete.” Ireland is graduating with high honors, and will be attending University of Washington to study integrated social sciences. Afterwards she’s looking into graduate studies in emergency management.
Some graduates are staying on the island while others are transferring to different colleges to continue their education, and to share what they’ve learned with the world.