Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) honored its 606 graduates during the College’s commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 11th, at the Florence Center.
CEO of Sea Power Marine Products and President of Docks Unlimited Sean A. Barnes shared a message about his humble beginnings, his struggles with dyslexia and ADHD and how he persevered to build his successful company.
His message to the FDTC graduates was simple, “If you work hard and do what you are supposed to do and you continue going, then you are going to succeed in life no matter where you came from or what you do.”
At this year’s ceremony, 606 students graduated marking the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. Of the graduates, 364 earned degrees, 75 earned diplomas, and 167 earned certificates. In addition, a total of 30 high school students graduated with an associate degree through FDTC’s Early College Academy.
The College also honored the family of Gaylen Bouges with a posthumous degree during the ceremony. Bouges tragically lost his life just one month before his graduation in 2022. His mother, brother and grandmother were in attendance to accept the degree and a class ring on his behalf.
“What an absolute honor it was to witness each of our students graduate and reach their goals,” FDTC President Dr. Jermaine Ford said. “Graduating from College is a major achievement and gives each of these graduates a better chance at obtaining a family-sustaining wage directly in their field of study. On behalf of our Area Commissioners, Faculty, and Staff, we wish these graduates the best as they move on to the next chapter in their lives.”
The FDTC Class of 2023 included graduates from a wide range of programs, including nursing, welding, HVAC, automotive technology, dental assisting, phlebotomy, radiologic technology, respiratory care, surgical technology, criminal justice, early childhood development, human services, paralegal studies, associate in science and arts, accounting, cosmetology, computer technology, machine tool, management, marketing, diesel technology and more.
Many of the graduates have already secured jobs in their fields, while others plan to continue their education at four-year universities.
This year’s graduation also marked the beginning of two new graduation traditions for Florence-Darlington Technical College. One of these new traditions was the addition of new gonfalon banners which represent the divisions of the college including Nursing and Allied Health; Business, Computing and Social Science; Career and Technical Education; and Science Technology, Engineering and Math. The second tradition was the colleges first ever class ring.
Did you miss the graduation ceremony? Don’t worry you can watch the whole ceremony on FDTC’s Facebook and YouTube channels.