Byline: George Barnes
GARDNER - Disproving Thomas Wolfe, Robert Regan got to go home again, or at least to the college he graduated from in 1975.
As the commencement speaker at Mount Wachusett Community College's 48th commencement Thursday, he told the 752 graduates seated in front of him that if they get zonked, learn from it and move on.
Mr. Regan, who graduated from the college with an associate degree in broadcasting, went on to a long career in all levels of broadcasting and communications.
He told graduates he went into the work world at a time when people could still easily find a pay phone, wrote on typewriters and listened to tape decks. After achieving his dream of becoming a broadcasting producer in Boston, he oversaw
shows such as "People's Court," "Love Connection" and "Let's Make a Deal."
On "Let's Make a Deal," he said, contestants could trade their prizes for a chance to win fabulous prizes, or they could open a door and discover a donkey with sunglasses or Regan's 1965 Buick Special with a hole in the floor. If that is what they found, they were zonked.
"In our everyday lives, we strive to prepare for everything we can think of, and hope it pays off in the end," he said. "Sometimes you will select the right door. Other times you won't and will end up with a zonk."
Mr. Regan said he made a few zonks himself.
"What matters is you learn from it, that you move on and redirect a new path," he said.
Mr. Regan's path led him to become an innovator in digital and cable communications and consumer media.
Calling the graduates, "My fellow graduates," he told them if they find a path to follow, follow it.
The college awarded 805 degrees to the 752 graduates. It also named Christopher P. Brown of Westminster as alumnus of the year. He is a 2010 graduate who served in the Persian Gulf War and now works as a veterans' rehabilitation specialist. Raymond LaFond of Gardner, senior vice president at Enterprise Bank, was presented the college's service above self award for his work in the community and for the college.
Area graduates include:
Acton: Associate: Mitchell L. Sims, Thaissa Paulino dos Santos
Adams: Certificate: Kaitlin E. Calderara
Ashburnham: Associate: Noelle Balutis, Rya M. Bennett, Tyler R. Berube, Christopher D. Camerer, Casey E. Caruso, Megan L. Farley, Jodi E. Feeley, Timothy J. Feeley, Sarah Michelle Gammel, Cody T. Hamilton, Rachel C. Hill, Sarah J. Hoover, Craig A. Phelps, Veronica Phelps, Kim A. Testaverde, Christina L. Wiggins
Certificate: Michael D. Crumbley, Tina L. Federline, Janice A. Hopkins, Patricia A. Leger, Jessica M. Mandella, Christina L. Wiggins
Ashby: Associate: Mary E. Bogue, April K. Jordan, Christina M. Leonard, Dustin E. Rantala, Katy M. Sutton-Brown, Keenan T. Williams
Certificate: Carol E. Bascomb, Patrick O. Dickhaut, Jason A. Flinkstrom
Ashland: Associate: Bela S. Halacsy
Athol: Associate: Trudy L. Baranoski, Erica N. Barnes, Sara K. Barnes, Tyfany L. Butler, Ashton F. Cetto, Heather C. Chadsey, Jacob C. Coleman, Carol A. Comeau, Jodi M. Costa, Kaytlin J. David, Tyler P. Destefano, Karen Duchnowski, Jennifer M. Duran, Kelly Flaherty, Cathy R. Gagnon, Raymond S. Greeno, Michael Guerrin, Donald B. Hager, Vanessa Dee Hunt, Emily A. Martin, Benjamin W. Minty, Rosemary Mruk, Jennifer S. O'Brien, Sarah B. O'Donnell, Kaitlin M. O'Hagan, Stephanie E. Pandiscio, Joni L. Paulino, Jeffrey M. Robichaud, Meagan J. Roraback, Rachel L. Ryan, Jonathan R. Skinner, Becky I. Sprague, Sarah J. Swart, Brandon J. Warren, Derek J. Wheeler, Sara-Anne Wilson, Malisa J. Younger
Certificates: Shayna M. Belanger, Christina M. Bonenfant, Karen Duchnowski, Michael Guerrin, Lisa A. Hood, Kayleigh L. Manjourea, Jessica L. McGivern, Jennifer L. Romero Da Silveira, Colby A. Sundstrom, David P. Vicari, Kimberly E. Williams
Auburn: Associate: David J. Goodrich
Ayer: Associate: Jacob J. Hagopian, Kerry Hannon
Certificate: Paula M. Centauro
Baldwinville: Associate: Cassandra R. Carey, Courtney R. Desbois, Shana I. Mailloux, Thomas J. Mason, Ranae A. Morris, Alyssa M. Morton, Daniel L. Piper, Crystal R. Powers, Katrina M. Seguin, Kathleen H. Tenney, Jennifer R. Zylinski
Certificate: Cassandra R. Carey, Kathleen E. McBrine, Katrina M. Seguin
Barre: Associate: Sarah M. Bronson, Catherine A. Brophy, Stephanie A. Caruso, Christine L. Eck, Ryan P. Gentile, Nicole E. Moriarty, Diane M. Parker