Family affair at Chesapeake commencement
WYE MILLS — “It took grit to be here,” keynote speaker Victoria Jackson-Stanley said at Chesapeake College’s 48th Commencement on Wednesday evening.
Chesapeake College graduated 304 Wednesday evening, including certificates and degrees. There were graduating accountants, nurses, radiology technicians, EMTs, paralegals and many more.
Every year at Chesapeake, for a few students, college graduation is a family affair.
Bryan Scott Bayliss graduated with a degree while his daughter Amber Ann Bayliss graduated with a certificate.
Leslie and James Grimplin were mother and son graduates.
Husband and wife David and Colby Hall graduated together, she as a nurse and he furthered his education as an EMT.
There were 19 people graduating with perfect 4.0 averages. Lyndy Mothershead received the college’s highest honor, the John T. Harrison Award.
The award is given at each commencement to the top student in the areas of scholarship, citizenship and leadership.
Mothershead is 19 years old and an alumna of Easton High School.
“It wasn’t exactly blowing me away that I was enrolling in a community college while my friends were going away to four-year colleges and universities,” Mothershead said. “Especially when the community college is surrounded by corn.”
She said her high school teachers and friends told her she could do better than Chesapeake, but after she took several classes there, she thought more high school seniors should consider taking community colleges seriously.
“I wasn’t ready to leave home and live in a dorm and take on the financial hardship,” she said.
She said at Chesapeake she could stay home, keep working at her hometown job, and continue saving money.
Mothershead began working at McDonald’s at 15 and has been saving for college ever since. She is now an assistant manager for McDonald’s and has won employee awards there.
Many of her expenses at Chesapeake College were covered by grant funding and scholarships, so the savings she planned can still be used toward a bachelor’s degree.
She graduates with an Associates degree and a 3.79 average to complement her long list of service achievements in the two years she has been at Chesapeake College. That includes five honor classes and completion of the Student Leadership Academy.
While at Chesapeake, Mothershead served as the public relations officer for the Student Government Association and vice president for scholarships of the honor society Phi Theta Kappa. In 2016 she was named to the 2016 AllMaryland Academic Team.
She also represented Chesapeake College at the PTK “Nerd Nation” this year, held at National Harbor.
Mothershead was adopted from China as a baby, and has had an interest in Chinese culture from the very start. She said that interest deepened when she was working on a comparecontrast project in her Honors Human Growth and Development class.
She looked out at the audience and spied her mother, Kathy Mothershead, dabbing her eyes with tissues.
“I would like to thank the woman who gave me my world — my mom,” she said.
She said her mother came to China to adopt her when Lyndy Mothershead was 14 months old.
Mothershead will attend the Honors College at the University of Maryland Baltimore County this fall and plans to major in Cyber Security and minor n East Asian Studies.
Her dream job, she said, is to work in the U. S. Department of Homeland Security.
Keynote speaker Victoria Jackson-Stanley was the first woman and first African-American to be elected Mayor of Cambridge. She congratulated the graduates and said they were trailblazers, the breakers of new ground.
“A leader prepares for success,” she said. “You must, must, must, must prepare.”
A Licensed Certified Social Worker with a clinical concentration, JacksonStanley graduated from Cambridge High School in 1971, from Salisbury University with a bachelor’s degree in 1975 and from Howard University with a master’s in 1981.
Her career has centered around various departments of social services on the Eastern Shore. She was elected mayor in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. She was president of the Maryland Mayors Association from 2012 to 2013 and has been recognized and honored by a wide range of organizations.
“It takes grit to work on your goal in life,” she told the graduates.”Work on your gift.”
Jackson-Stanley was also presented with the college’s 2016 Community Service Award.
Also honored was Crystal Farina, assistant professor of Nursing and director of Simulation for Nursing and Allied Health.
She was named the fifth Dr. Stuart M. Bounds Distinguished Teaching Chair, and joins four other Chesapeake College educators who serve as a mentor and model for other faculty. The two-year appointment includes an annual $7,500 stipend.
Lyndy Mothershead said she is ready for the next step, but she will miss Chesapeake College.
“Congratulations to the class of 2016,” she told the graduates. “Remember no matter where you go or what you do, we will always be children of the corn.”
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Nearly 200 of the 304 Chesapeake College graduates in the class of 2016 pack the auditorium at the Todd Performing Arts Center on Wednesday night for the 48th commencement.
Twin sisters, from left, Lauren Trice and Danielle Trice graduate as registered nurses Wednesday evening at Chesapeake College.
Lyndy Mothershead was the winner of the college’s highest honor, the John T. Harrison Award.