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NELSONVILLE, Ohio—Hocking College’s first graduation ceremony was held in a parking lot. Fifty years later, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was back outside.

The two-year community college celebrated 50 years of graduating students with a joint ceremony for Spring and Summer semester graduates Saturday, Aug. 8.

Hocking College Spring Summer Graduation 02Three separate ceremonies were held: One each for the School of Allied Health and Nursing and Public Safety Services and the School of Natural Resources and a combined service for the schools of Arts, Business and Sciences and Workforce Development.

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The 106 students who participated were seated six feet apart from each other in the parking lot in front of Oakley Hall on the college’s Nelsonville campus. Guests for the graduates were behind them and asked to sit only with people they arrived at the ceremony with and stay at least six feet away from other groups.

Everyone attending the ceremony was required to wear a mask or face covering and underwent the college’s coronavirus assessment protocol.

Hocking College Spring Summer Graduation 04Jim Linthicum, a member of Hocking College’s first graduating class, spoke at all three ceremonies. Linthicum was the first person in his family to graduate from college and the first African American student to graduate from Hocking College.

He spoke about the changes in the world since 1970 but reiterated that traits like faithfulness, self-discipline, commitment and kindness never change.

The following students received awards from the college:

  • Austyn Mikkel Hamper - Environmental Award
  • Audrey Janelle Reeder - Student Employment Award
  • Jordan M. Skates - Community Service Award
  • Joshua Christian Brown - Inspirational Achievement Award
  • Navae’ Taylor - Student Life Award
  • Andrea Lee Chatfield - Trustee Award
  • Savannah Gaverick - Scholar Athlete

The following students received the President’s Award:

  • Graduation 12Andrea Lee Chatfield
  • Michele Porter
  • Adam C. Rolf
  • Michaela Renée McRoberts
  • Joshua Christian Brown
  • Irene Jabu Abon
  • Savannah Gaverick
  • Morgan Haas
  • Audrey Janelle Reeder
  • Jordan M. Skates
  • Ryan Pendelton
  • LeeAnn Rahe
  • Austyn Hamper

The following students received the Veterans Award

  • Ryan Pendelton
  • LeeAnn Rahe
  • Adam Rolf

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