During the ceremonies, brief remarks were shared by HACC leadership and employees, a graduating student and alumna. The two ceremonies were scheduled to ensure the College could safely celebrate its graduating students during the ongoing pandemic.
John J. “Ski” Sygielski, MBA, Ed.D., HACC president and CEO, said, “For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we were able to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of our graduating students in person. They have not only endured, but thrived to overcome obstacles to achieve their educational goals. This was a proud moment for the graduating students, their family and friends and the HACC employees who shared their journey.”
Among the graduating students were:
- Mengistu Alemu of Lancaster earned a certificate in practical nursing. Following graduation, he plans to begin HACC’s Registered Nurse (RN) Program in spring 2022.
- Danye Marie McMullen of Middletown earned an Associate in Science in business administration. She said, “My next steps will be to use my degree to advance myself at my current job. I am ecstatic to see what the future holds. One of my praiseworthy accomplishments will be to walk across the stage as a first-generation graduate. #HACCPROUD”
- Robert Reed of Harrisburg and Drake Naylor of Lewisberry were the student speakers. Reed enrolled in HACC classes after a 20-year break from school and received an Associate in Applied Science in paralegal studies. Naylor, who earned an Associate in Arts in social sciences, participates in activism work for the rights of the LGBTQ and people with disabilities.
- Theresa Powell of Hanover earned an Associate in Applied Science in health science. Her favorite part about attending HACC was “being able to work my full-time job while having the ability to attend all my classes online virtually.”
- Rachael J. Stigelman of Wrightsville plans to pursue a career in the legal field and obtain her pilot’s license. She earned an Associate in Applied Science in paralegal studies.
- Gabriela Torres of Lebanon earned an Associate in Applied Science in business. After graduation, she plans to enter the labor force and pursue her master’s degree in business. Torres added that her favorite part about attending HACC was joining the Student Government Association (SGA) and “becoming a voice for the students.”
Testimonials from a few graduating students can be viewed on HACC’s YouTube channel. Additionally, thanks to the HACC Foundation, eight of the graduating students received a $1,000 tuition giveaway and will be able to continue their education at HACC.
Interested individuals can view the full 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ceremonies on YouTube. Please visit HACC’s Flickr site to view images of the graduating students. The list of fall 2021 graduates will be available at a later date.
Future students who are interested in pursuing their dreams, like these graduating students, should visit hacc.edu/GetStarted.
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, is the first and largest of Pennsylvania’s 15 community colleges. HACC offers approximately 100 career and transfer associate degree, certificate and diploma programs to approximately 15,350 students. Also, the College serves students at its Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York campuses; through virtual learning; and via workforce development and continuing education training. For more information on how HACC is uniquely YOURS, visit hacc.edu. Also, follow us on Twitter (@HACC_info), follow us on Instagram (@HACC_edu), like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/HACC64) and use #HACCNews.
About the HACC Foundation
The HACC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established in 1985 to raise private and corporate revenues in support of HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College. The HACC Foundation provides funding for student scholarships, innovative academic programs, state-of-the art training equipment and modernized facilities. To learn more about the HACC Foundation, please visit haccfoundation.org. To contribute to the HACC Foundation, please visit hacc.edu/GiveNow.