Byline: Lee Hammel
WORCESTER - The Quinsigamond Community College class of 2008 set enrollment records and President Gail E. Carberry let them know at commencement exercises yesterday just how special they are.
There were about 14,000 credit and non-credit students at the two-year school this year. The fall semester had about 6,700 students enrolled for credit.
Both figures are the highest since the college opened in 1963 in gym space provided by the College of the Holy Cross. Ms. Carberry compared the exploits of the students to the voyage of Dorothy, the Lion, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man, drawing oohs and aahs from an appreciative audience under a tent on the campus. "Like the Scarecrow, you have always had exceptional brains - what you lacked is a diploma as evidence," she said.
She said she was pleased that the faculty of the school had been able to develop the abilities students brought to the school. Ms. Carberry warned the members of the school's 44th graduating class that the main characters of "The Wizard of Oz" thought that once they reached the Emerald City, their goals would be realized.
Like them, she said, the class members will find that graduation "was just the beginning of many harrowing experiences they would face before realizing their dreams."
But they are well equipped. The president said only one in four people in the Worcester area has a college degree. She told the degree and certificate recipients that they are joining those who "have the brains and stamina to achieve something very special."
Ms. Carberry told the students, "You are the heart of QCC. When you leave this place today, click your heels together and say aloud `There's no place like QCC.'"
Lisa M. Smith, head of the alumni association, said she hopes the graduates - like 21,000 who preceded them - will stay in touch with the school.
But for sheer joy, it was hard to beat Magdalena Schmidt, a graduating student and president of the student senate, who proclaimed from the lectern, "We finally did it!" The native of Austria thanked the faculty "for putting us through our paces," so the graduates can join the work force or proceed to a four-year college, "to a bigger and brighter future."
Brent J. Andersen, chairman of the QCC board, presented the QCC Trustees' Citizen's Award to Roland A. Gauthier, who was board chairman from 2003 to 2006.
Quinsigamond Community College
Area graduates 2008
Associate in Applied Science
Auburn: Wilbur Garabedian.
Barre: John Kowal.
Douglas: Thomas Chisholm.
Dudley: Shaun Page.
Fitchburg: Mark Gionet.
Grafton: Christopher Petrie.
Holden: Joseph Wohlleib.
Hopedale: Kimberly Patton.
Leominster: Peter Daigle.
Northbridge: Frank Mabry.
Rutland: Charles Goodacre.
Shrewsbury: Hugh O'Rawe, Steven Pasquale and Maria Soja.
Thompson: Jeremiah Poirier.
Townsend: Roderick Bardell.
Webster: Jason Miller.
West Brookfield: Linda Ritzer.
Westboro: Richard Lambert.
Winchendon: Jeanne Kellogg.
Worcester: Thomas Contonio, Carlos Sarmiento and Ganmin Yang.
Associate in Arts
Ashby: Lisa Granquist-Dorward.
Auburn: Gina Denitti, Nicole George, Peter Hurstak, Courtney Noonan, Michael Nowicki and Erick Smith.
Blackstone: Elaine Choquette and Victoria Thibodeau.
Bolton: Marta Moran.
Boylston: Cleria Burnell and Jiagi Jin.
Brookfield: Brendan Longe and Stacey O'Dell.
Charlton: Dianna Larson, Kaitlyn Moran, Christin Morse, Christine Porth and Crystal Zereski.
Clinton: Monica Kelly and Adrienne Maillet.
Douglas: Brenda Brochu and Ashley Gigarjian.
Dudley: Ashley Brown, Nathan French, Matthew James, Joy Materas and Lindsay McMahan.
East Brookfield: Kevin Berard, Kelli Gemboski and Amanda Means.
Fitchburg: Haley Wiinikainen.
Grafton: Nancy Sjogren, Kelly Stratford.
Holden: Melissa Bateman, John Franco, Daniel Hitch, Jason Montville, Poghni Periokonny and Greg Rosen.
Hopkinton: Joshua Ziolo.
Hudson: Michael Agostinho, Lindsay Jordan and Katie Murphy.
Jefferson: Roya Bahrami.
Leicester: Mary Bailey.
Leominster: Lauren Conners.
Marlboro: Marc DiBuono, Alex Dowd, Bianca Montoya and Lisa Risotti.
Mendon: Colleen Confrey.
Milford: Nicole Miles.
Millbury: Daniele DeAdder, Jessica Ellis, Monica Gill, Kristopher Harackiewicz, Stephanie Massicotte-Kozlowski, Christopher Maynard and Tiffany Stahl.
Millville: Jacqueline Vargas.
North Brookfield: Regina Trumbull.
Northboro: Erica Abro, Stacy Archibald, Janine Casapulla, Emilie Gagne, Bethany Pasco, Christopher Peters and Caleb Skoglund
Northbridge: Erin Manyak and Kimberly Metcalf.
Oakham: John Brewer and Holly Tarducci.
Oxford: Bridget Lever.
Paxton: Christopher Palombo and Joanna Whalen.
Rutland: John Bell, Lisa MacLeod and Sundae Poynter.
Shrewsbury: Joanne Beaulieu, Benjamin Boi, Brian Dykhuizen, Erica Gaizetis, Jill Mastromatteo, Neil McCabe, Jennie Petrie, Nicholas Smith and Christina Tomaiolo.
Southboro: Meghan McShera.
Southbridge: Sara Chouinard, Victoria Marinelli, Heather Maynard, Karen Schiller, Heather Sluhocki and Brent Stanley.
Spencer: Jordan Cassavant, Brian Cournoyer and Heather Pontbriand.
Sterling: Jessica Chaffee.
Sturbridge: Kristine Young.
Sutton: Colleen Biemiller.
Upton: Whitney Despres.
Webster: Leona DiTullio, Mary Donahue and Nicole Leger.
West Boylston: Julianne Hutchins and Lisa Temple.
West Brookfield: Elizabeth Williams.
West Upton: Emily Lowell.
Westboro: Caroline Richov, Cheryl Stokes and Zacary Welch.
Worcester: Eileen Adorno-Jimenez, Emmanuel Asante, Marco Avalos, Zuriel Ayala, Benedict Beluchukwu, Gabriel Beluchukwu, Ivan Berezin, Joseph Boateng...