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Denmark Technical College held its 2011 Annual Commencement Convocation “Celebrating Our New Beginnings: Exceeding Expectations,” in the William L. McDuffie Student Services Center on the campus of the DTC campus at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday.

U.S. House of Representatives Sixth District Congressman James E. “Jim” Clyburn, former House Majority Whip and presently the third ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives was the featured speaker. Representative Clyburn told the DTC graduates that received certificates, diplomas and associate degrees in 185 areas, “It does not matter how you start the journey its where you get to.”

Clyburn told the 2011 graduates of DTC and their families and friends that filled the William L. McDuffie Student Services Center that there were “three things” that were the mark of a “good education” and those three things were:

Good manners: “Nothing can get you farther in life than saying “thank you.” Secondly, Clyburn said “whatever you do, you are expected to do it well.” And, finally, Clyburn, who said he insisted that $2 billion dollars of Recovery Act money be put aside for two-year colleges and universities “because you have great worth” told the graduates to “find something you can do in society without being paid.” “Find something to give back to service. You will be surprised how far it will get in you in life.”

Clyburn, who told the graduates he ran unsuccessfully for office three times before he won election, society needs auto mechanics and plumbers as well as doctors and lawyers to “learn to live life by life’s rules.” “Life should not be played by the rules of baseball that say three strikes you’re out.” Clyburn told the graduates “you will not always succeed when you start out, but remember these words: “never, never, never give up.”

Dr. Michael M. Townsend, Sr. DTC President, the presiding officer, said the program was “dedicated totally” to the memory of Bamberg, SC. native Tonya Michelle Barnwell Thomas, Dean of Enrollment Management and Registration Services at Denmark Technical College, who died last week.

Townsend said the graduation ceremony was dedicated to Barnwell- Thomas because of her “hard work, dedication and commitment “ to Denmark Technical College and whose name appeared throughout the program. Townsend, noted that plans were under way to establish a Tonya Barnwell Thomas Memorial Scholarship and a recommendation will be made to the DTC Area Commission that the name of the student center be changed to the Tonya Barnwell Thomas Memorial Student Center.

Also during the program Sherri Chislom, Valedictorian and David Graham, Salutatorian were presented with $500 scholarships presented by the Bamberg-Hampton Alumni Chapter of the Denmark Technical College Alumni Association.

 
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