University President Harris Pastides, who recently presided over 13 commencement ceremonies for the university’s eight campuses, said this graduation was particularly meaningful.
“You are advancing the entire university,” he said. “Things like this do not happen easily, and they do not do it in isolation.”
He praised the families of the graduates and the graduates themselves for their commitment “to walk the extra mile, to do the extra reading, to do the extra skill.”
One of the apprentices, Helen Scott, who worked in the Osborne Administration Building, died this year. Pastides presented Scott’s family with the “Outstanding Graduate Award” in her memory.
“She embodied the goals of this program,” said Pastides, who noted that Scott always could be found at work – no matter how early he arrived at his office. “Helen lives in the heart of this president.”
Other custodial graduates included David Crabbe, Annette Folks, Bernardo G. Garner, Connie Grimes, Randall T. Krenz, Sandra Mancle, Pamela G. Monette, Willie J. Riley, Jennifer Sansbury, Bennie Stinson, all from facilities; Katrina S. Heard, Geraldine Joyner, Lula M. Lloyd, Sherry D. McLamore, and Shannon L. Myers, all from housing; and Alvin J. McCoy and Dewey S. Wigington, both from zone maintenance. Kevin R. Curtis and Randall T. Krenz graduated from the landscaping apprenticeship program.
Dewey S. Wigington, who provides maintenance services for the university’s residence halls, said the program helps employees better understand “what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.”
Wigington already had earned an associate’s degree in occupational technology.
“This is a super program,” he said. “The university has done a good job of partnering with other businesses to help us get the special training that we needed.”
Custodian Bennie Stinson has worked at the university since 1989.