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WMCC awards record-breaking 199 degrees and certificates

Twenty-one-year-old Brett Horne of Gorham earned his associate’s degree in Information Technology on Friday evening at White Mountains Community College. (Photo by Edith Tucker) (click for larger version)
May 19, 2010
BERLIN — A record 175 men and women marched across the stage set up in a large white tent on the grounds of the White Mountains Community College (WMCC) on Friday evening to receive 199 associate's degrees, certificates, and a single Bachelor's degree at its 43rd commencement exercises.

WMCC president Kathy Eneguess congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments and welcomed their family and friends, many of who had helped provide them with emotional as well as financial support as they took on academic challenges under often challenging circumstances.

Guest speaker Ben Kilham of Lyme — "the bear man" — described some of the frustrations he has experienced over the years because his mind works differently than most formally trained researchers and scholars. His mind functions in pictures, he explained, pointing out that he has now been deemed a high-IQ or "gifted" dyslexic. Although lacking what are considered the tools of scientific scholarship, Mr. Kilham said that ordinary people like those on hand "know what good work is." He told the students who were proudly sitting before him in black caps and gowns that "there are many different shades of us" and that their task is to continue to find out where their talents lie, to develop their own unique abilities, and to use their own means by which to achieve their goals.

Mark Labonville of Gilman, Vt., an associate's degree recipient in the Human Services program who works at the Tyler Blaine House in Lancaster, was presented the President's Award for maintaining the highest grade point average.

Stark native Jacob Cote of Lancaster, who graduated from Groveton High School in 1996 and worked for two years for Asplundh Tree and then at Wausau Papers, was recognized as the student representative on the Board of Trustees.

Student Senate President Deborah Sutton and Phi Theta Kappa honor society president Kayla McLain, both of Berlin, were student speakers. They, along with most other speakers, spoke of the foundations that students have built by hard work to ensure bright futures and urged them all to continue to strive to realize their hopes and dreams.

Professor of Nursing Grace Bigelow of Littleton was presented the Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence.

College Registrar Marie Bly of Berlin was presented with the Commissioner's Award for Service Excellence.

Financial Aid Director Jacqueline Catello of Berlin was presented an Honorary Associate's degree for her numerous contributions to WMCC made over many years.

Klumb Environmenta;
Varney Smith
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