PLATTSBURGH — Clinton Community College will hold its winter commencement at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, at the William H. Forrence Center gymnasium.
The college has 175 students eligible for graduation, with 188 degrees and certificates being awarded.
Thirty-nine students will be graduating summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude; 24 are Phi Theta Kappa honor society members; and seven are Clinton County Presidential Scholars.
The faculty speaker will be June Foley, professor of social and behavioral sciences.
The Class of 2013 valedictorian and student speaker is Christopher Bowlby of Schuyler Falls, who is receiving a degree in electrical technology: electronics.
Bowlby graduated from Peru High School in 1993 and went to work for Bombardier.
He was laid off from that company in 2010, and with Trade Adjustment Assistance funding, started his path to an associate degree at Clinton, according to a news release from the college.
He was enrolled full time for three semesters before being offered a position again at Bombardier, this time at a more advanced level because of his education at Clinton.
Bowlby took the full-time position and completed his degree as a part-time student.
Balancing a full-time job, family life and school was difficult but worth the trouble, he said.
“Being laid off was terrifying, but the opportunity to come to Clinton was the opportunity of a lifetime for my family,” he said in the college’s release.
“I’m thankful for my education, and it has already paid off.”
Bowlby said he is honored to be addressing his class and hopes his success can provide hope for people in the same boat as him.
He will be speaking about how graduating from college is a significant accomplishment and should be seen as a stepping stone for future accomplishments.
He hopes that everyone leaves graduation with the same “feeling of accomplishment and self pride” that he does.
The salutatorian is Michael Mrozik of Plattsburgh. He will graduate with a degree in wind energy and turbine technology.
He is also a non-traditional student, who is employed at the local Noble wind-energy operation.
The commencement ceremony is open to the public.