Redstone Arsenal Campus Director Barbara Pounders, who conferred the degrees at the Nov. 7 graduation ceremony, listens to keynote speaker Mary Morgan.

Redstone Arsenal Campus Director Barbara Pounders, who conferred the degrees at the Nov. 7 graduation ceremony, listens to keynote speaker Mary Morgan.

Columbia College-Redstone Arsenal held its 40th commencement ceremony Nov. 7, and the staff was honored to once again host this auspicious annual event.

With friends and loved ones cheering them on, the graduates — including seven master’s degree candidates,  58 baccalaureate candidates and 14 associate degree candidates — walked proudly across the stage to receive their diplomas. Some graduates attended in spirit, with the Class of 2015 totaling 148.

Wishing to share in the success and excitement of this proud day, several faculty members and special guests participated in the ceremony.

Mary Morgan, who retired as campus director earlier this year after more than three decades of service, returned as the keynote speaker, encouraging the graduates to continue their success by applying what they learned at Columbia College to the workforce and to their lives.

She also highlighted the challenges and successes of several graduates in her remarks. One such student was Tamerblin Gebbia, who graduated cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in business administration.

“[Tamberlin] was not able to attend college after high school,” said Morgan as she addressed the crowd. “It has taken five long years, but she vowed to finish her degree before she turned 50. She is 6 months ahead of schedule.”

Former Redstone Arsenal Campus Director Mary Morgan provided inspiring remarks during commencement and highlighted several students' successes.

Former Redstone Arsenal Campus Director Mary Morgan provided inspiring remarks during commencement and highlighted several students’ successes.

Morgan also spoke of Gregory Hayden, an officer with the Huntsville, Georgia, police department.

“Greg begin pursuing his degree for a promotion, but after he was promoted he made a decision to complete the entire degree.” Hayden graduated cum laude with his bachelor’s degree in business administration.

“Balancing and struggling being a full-time soldier and a full-time mom, it has been difficult for Shantaya Haines to keep the motivation to complete her education,” Morgan continued.  “She finally took the right steps to get back to school and complete her [business] degree. Although feeling overwhelmed at times, she has continued and completed her goal.”

In addition to Morgan’s remarks, the campus was honored to have alumnus Elder Donald Clark present the invocation and benediction. Campus Director Dr. Barbara Pounders conferred the degrees. Ed Sason, Columbia College graduate and newest member of the Columbia College Alumni Board of Directors, welcomed the graduates into the Columbia College alumni family by leading the Alumni Charge.

The Redstone Arsenal campus staff would like to congratulate the graduates for their hard work and successful completion of their respective degree programs. Best of luck in your future endeavors!