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May 11, 2012

Purdue graduates 48 students in New Albany

Some grads to stay in state, others find jobs across the country

NEW ALBANY — Though the ceremony was short, speakers made sure students knew it marked the achievement of something that will affect them for the rest of their lives.

Purdue University College of Technology’s commencement ceremony Thursday had just more than 30 students walk across the stage to collect their degrees with a total of 48 students in the class of 2012. But family and friends of the students said their degrees will have lifelong effects for them.

Jill Pennington was at the ceremony to watch her brother, Michael Blevins, graduate after finishing his bachelor’s degree. She said he already had an associates, but wanted to get a four-year degree under his belt.

“It’s kind of a big deal,” Pennington said about her brother, who is 32 years old. “He has three kids of his own and he had to take a lot of night classes, but his company was really great and worked with him on his schedule so he could finish.”

Kent Fowler said he was there to watch his lifelong friend, Antoine Terry, graduate after returning to school.

“He’s been working at LG&E since after we finished high school,” Fowler said. “He’s very hard working, persistent and focused, so I applaud him.”

Lisa Huber graduated with her bachelor’s of science in electrical and computer engineering and technology. She said having a Purdue campus close to home was an important asset for her.

“I got to stay home the whole time while I was studying, which was very important to me,” Huber said. “I hope to get a job around here to keep the brain power close to home.”

Other students said they’d already secured jobs. Quentin Forbes earned his bachelor’s of science in mechanical engineering technology and said he’s off to work in North Carolina.

“I went in just looking to get into the engineering and design field,” Forbes said. “The professors, the studies, curriculum and the approach to engineering really gave me the ability to develop that left-field approach to engineering.”

Kevin Ho earned his bachelor’s of science in computer graphics technology. He said while he’s working close to home for now, he hopes to make his way across the country eventually and pursue filmmaking. But he said he feels confident about what he’ll be able to do in the future.

“The small classes allow you to build close relationships not only with the professors, but also the students,” Ho said. “They’ll become our co-workers in the industry.”

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Students of the Renaissance Academy's inaugural freshman class placed the final piece of the puzzle on a presentation board at the opening ceremony in Clarksville Tuesday morning. The students, or learners as termed by the RA, will play an integral role in their own education, using hands-on and project based curriculum to learn new information.

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