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At convocation, Hagerstown Community College honors its honor students

May 16, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- As each of more than 100 student honorees shook the hand of Hagerstown Community College President Guy Altieri on Thursday night, they did so knowing the handshake meant more than just a photo opportunity.

In his opening remarks for the college's annual Honors Convocation, Altieri told the students that the handshake of a dedicated supporter can be more of a reward than fame or power.

"With each handshake, we are saying in a most sincere way, 'You have done well at HCC, we are proud of you and we are confident you will embrace your future destiny with intelligence and great skill,'" Altieri said.

The awards presented at Thursday's ceremony in the college's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center included competitive awards recognizing achievement in specific areas, as well as recognition of honor society members and those with grade-point averages of 3.5 and above.

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"We hold a special fondness for students like those we honor this evening, who make the most of the educational opportunities lent by HCC by excelling in all their course work and related activities," Altieri said.

The ceremony was attended by about 350 guests, most full-time faculty and administrators, and about 110 honorees, Altieri said.

"These numbers provide, I believe, convincing evidence that HCC is a place that respects, promotes and celebrates academic excellence," he said.

Other speakers at the event included sociology professor M.C. "Connie" Devilbiss, who encouraged students to continue learning and put their intellects to good use; theater student Benjamin J. Yeagle, who entertained the group with humorous anecdotes from his college experience; and Beverly K. Bowers, who spoke of the support she received in starting her first experience with higher education as an adult.

Altieri said he would not be surprised if one of the students honored Thursday were awarded a Nobel Prize, a Pulitzer Prize or an Oscar, but he said most of them are likely to find themselves working honest jobs, starting families and strengthening their communities.

"If this destiny turns out to be yours, consider yourself blessed," Altieri told the honorees. "America was not built by those rewarded by fame or power, but rather by those rewarded by a hug, a handshake or a kiss."

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