John Tyler graduates over 1200 students
ETTRICK — Geovany Chavarria, whose family moved to the U.S. from Guatemala in 2006, radiated with pride as he talked about being the first member of his family to graduate from college.
“I feel very joyful right now,” said Chavarria. “My great-grandparents didn’t finish high school, my grandparents only went
to high school, my mother finished high school but never finished college. So I’m the first to get a degree from college. It’s amazing, I couldn’t be more happy right now.”
Chavarria, who graduated with a degree in business administration, hopes to return to his home country one day to help the people there.
“I want to become an entrepreneur,” he said. “Hopefully one day I can go back to my home country and do things over there for the poor and oppressed. And through business, I can offer them employment.”
Chavarria was one of over a thousand students from John Tyler Community College to receive their degree last night. Family and friends filled the multipurpose center at Virginia State to watch their loved ones walk across the stage.
“My grandmother always said, ‘people can take everything away from you, but they can’t take away your education,’” said Erica A. Mokun, one of the student speaker.
The ceremony opened with a special introduction by the President of John Tyler, Edward E. Raspiller. Raspiller congratulated all the students and recognized the 40 students who had completed his or her associate-degree during their last two years of high school. William C. Fiege, the Vice President, also congratulated the students.
“I know each graduate has a story as to how you got here tonight,” he said.
Marshall A. Maloney and Mokun were the student speakers, who each shared their experiences at the college before introducing the commencement speaker, Virginia State Senator Rosalyn R. Dance. The students then filed across the stage to receive their degrees.
Geovany Chavarria, left, and Shannon Garcia, right, share a light moment before the John Tyler Community College Commencement Ceremony on Friday.
Graduates from John Tyler Community College listen to student speaker Erica A. Mokun during the commencement ceremony on Friday at the Virginia State University Multipurpose Center.