05/08/05 — Rain forces ceremony inside, but spirits high

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Rain forces ceremony inside, but spirits high

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on May 8, 2005 2:04 AM

Wayne Community College graduates filed into the sanctuary at First Assembly of God church Friday night as cameras flashed and family members called out congratulations.

Rain force the ceremony indoors but spirits remained high as 422 students received their diplomas.

More than half received degrees in applied science. Some will be nurses. Some will fix cars or airplanes. Some will fix teeth. Some will fix hair or take care of small children. Some will go into law enforcement or into business. Some will transfer to four-year colleges to pursue other careers.

Dr. Ed Wilson, the college president, told graduates and their families that the evening was a culmination of each student's journey through the college. He said it was also the result of the hard work of many faculty and staff who provided guidance and support.

"Tomorrow you will start the next chapter of your life," he told the graduates. "I wish the best for all of you. Remember that Wayne Community College will always be here for you if you need additional education."

Student Government Association President Shawna Morton said she grew as a person during her time at Wayne Community College and said she learned many things that will help her as she enters the working world.

She recalled something a teacher once told her: "The end result is everything that happened before." She said the comment summarized her time at Wayne.

"This saying can be applied to any aspect of life and tells us that everything we do helps lead us to the final product, which today is this graduation," she said. "I congratulate you all on your many accomplishments and wish you the best of luck in your years after Wayne."

The keynote speaker was William A. Deadly, senior deputy secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety. Under his management are Butner Public Safety, the governor's Crime Commission, Victim and Justice Services, the Civil Air Patrol and administrative services.

"There will be times you will be challenged to move forward and make a meaningful contribution to life," he said. "Seek perfection. Anything you do, do better. Always have a dream before you."

He warned the graduates they would encounter along their journey some mud holes, some strong holes and even sink holes.

And there would be dry times, times when they would be surrounded by loved ones and feel unloved.

"There will be times you must stop and replenish your mind," he said. "When I came to a fork in the road, I'd pick it up and see how much silver was in it."

Po Wah Yeung was one of the graduates who plans to continue her education. She will attend N.C. State University, where she was one of only 55 students who were accepted into the School of Architecture for the fall semester.

Her story is one of determination.

She and her family came to America from Hong Kong. Her father, Chun Tung Yeung, took a contract with Carolina Turkeys near Mount Olive, and her mother, Biklei Lui, went to work at Uchiyama on Arrington Bridge Road. Her sister and brother, who are also students at Wayne Community College, also plan to attend N.C. State upon graduation. Po Ying, 22, will pursue a degree in nutrition. Hon Fai, 19, is hoping to major in civil engineering.

Miss Yeung said adjusting to college life at WCC was difficult at first, but that she received help from many people.

"The first semester was hard," said Miss Yeung. The lifestyle is very different here, too, she said.

"American teenagers are more independent, she said. "I had relied heavily on my family back home, and here, I had to find a job."

She went into the work-study program at Wayne Community College and learned to drive.

This summer, she is looking for a temporary job to hold her over until fall, when she goes to N.C. State.