For the Cumberland Times-News
CUMBERLAND — Allegany College of Maryland will hold commencement exercises Friday and graduate approximately 200 students.
Their achievements will be celebrated in a ceremony starting at 7 p.m. in ACM’s Physical Education Building on the Cumberland campus.
The candidates for graduation are expected to receive about 250 associate degrees and certificates in ACM’s varied and numerous career and transfer programs.
Students who attended ACM campuses in Bedford and Somerset counties in Pennsylvania and its nursing program site in Garrett County are part of the exercises.
Graduation candidates and their family members and guests will be welcomed to commencement by ACM’s president Cynthia S. Bambara. The Board of Trustees vice chairwoman, Jane A. Belt, will offer greetings.
Three students who distinguished themselves with high academic achievement will present the commencement address: Ann Drennan of Oakland, Jared Lamp of (Bel Air) Cumberland and Linda Pugh of Somerset, Pa., will deliver remarks on behalf of the fall 2012 class.
Their comments will recognize and celebrate the successes of their classmates, emphasize the importance of persevering in the face of challenge and offer encouragement to strive toward future goals. They’ll also gratefully acknowledge the opportunities presented by the community college, the guidance of faculty and staff members and the support of family and friends in their achievements.
Drennan entered college to attain a more secure future for herself and her three children and to act on a long-held desire to become an obstetrical nurse.
After losing her bookkeeping job in a small-business closing four years ago, Drennan enrolled in Garrett College at age 36. Encouraged by her success, she continued until she secured a spot in ACM’s Garrett County nursing program in Oakland. Now, the 1990 Southern Garrett High School graduate, who worked for two years as a nanny in Washington, D.C., and 19 years as a pharmacy clerk in Oakland, is poised to earn an associate degree as a member of ACM’s second Garrett nursing class. She’s already been hired by Grant Memorial Hospital in Petersburg, W.Va., where she’s on track to fulfilling her dream since age 12 of becoming a registered nurse in obstetrics.
Lamp began his ACM studies in spring 2009 while completing his secondary education through home-schooling. His Early College program, in general education courses as he fulfilled requirements for his high school diploma in May 2010, allowed him to pursue interests and discover strengths that led him to registered nursing.
Lamp, who is 20, is graduating with an associate degree in nursing. He plans to continue toward a bachelor’s degree in that discipline at Frostburg State University. Lamp is also is seeking work in a hospital intensive care unit. The critical-care experience he’ll gain will help him qualify for a master’s degree program and achievement of his ultimate goal, that of becoming a nurse anesthetist.
Pugh entered college after a long career in office and clerical work that followed her 1967 graduation at Somerset Area High School, where she completed the business curriculum.
After work at a realty firm and a coal company, Pugh joined a local manufacturer where she thought she’d remain until retirement. But her varied office career there ended after 26 years in 2009, one year before the plant closed entirely. Restless at home, Pugh was encouraged by her daughter, ACM graduate and medical assistant instructor Christine Hardiman, to enroll at ACM’s Somerset County Campus.
After a successful full-time semester in spring 2011, Pugh continued toward an associate degree in business management. Now, at age 63, and with a college degree to be more competitive in today’s job market, she’s eager to again participate in the workplace.
Introducing the three commencement speakers are faculty members Diane Friend, associate professor of nursing, who will introduce Drennan; Brenda Owens, associate professor of nursing, who will present Lamp; and Robin Imgrund, professor of business administration, who will introduce Pugh.
Following the student comments, associate degrees and certificates will be awarded in the central feature of commencement. David Hinds, ACM vice president of instructional affairs, will present the candidates for graduation and Belt will award degrees and certificates.
Coronation Brass, under the direction of Brian Plitnik, will perform a prelude to the exercises and the national anthem as well as a processional and recessional of graduates and college faculty and staff.
Serving as grand marshal of commencement exercises is Rick Cooper, professor of nursing. Mark Shore, professor of mathematics, is the assistant grand marshal.
Jenna Gallion, associate professor of English and speech, and Ron Krug, associate professor of business administration, will announce the names of the candidates as they are presented to receive their diplomas.
A reception for the new graduates, their guests and others involved in commencement follows the exercises. It will be held in the College Center.