DAVENPORT — Scott Community College graduates face the new challenge of continuing their push toward success after the college's 2013 commencement ceremony on Wednesday at the RiverCenter.
Friends, faculty and family members flooded the center to honor hundreds of graduates.The formal send-off honored students' achievements, degrees and certificates, while calling on each of them to continue their hard work.
SCC graduate Ebony Imani Rivers delivered the commencement speech. Currently a tri-brand manager at Enterprise Holdings in Cedar Rapids, Ms. Rivers told graduates to never settle for "good" in life.
"One thing I've learned along my journey is that good is the enemy of great," she said.
Ms. Rivers said, while attending Augustana College, she became distracted as she rushed to earn a bachelor's degree. Intent on getting her degree as quickly as possible, she lost focus on what was important, she said, and was forced to remain at school even longer.
But Ms. Rivers said her failures in life have strengthened her and molded her into a better person.
"You know, it's okay to fail as long as you learn from it," she said, challenging her fellow graduates to maintain focus on their goals and fight to achieve them.
"This is not the end of your journey, but the start of something great," she said.
Also speaking Wednesday night was new SCC graduate Nick Bruns, a five-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. While at SCC, Mr. Bruns helped expand Scott's Student Veterans Organization.
He said he initially had anxieties about returning to school, fearing he would feel out-of-place as a non-traditional student. But Mr. Burns said he discovered the transition from a military lifestyle to an academic lifestyle was much easier than he had imagined, something he mostly credits to his fellow classmates.
"I did not get here by myself," he said, noting the support of family and faculty pushed him toward his goals. He now plans to continue his education at a four-year school to study nursing.
Fellow graduate Kristine Helsley, of Muscatine, also returned to school at SCC as an example for her high-school and college-aged children -- and to pay homage to her late father, according to Ms. Helsley's mother, Linda Daniels, also of Muscatine.
"Her father wanted her to go to college." Ms. Daniels said. "He always knew she had potential."
The new SCC graduate hopes to work at a hospice, now that she has received her nursing degree, her mother said.
The list of SCC graduates was not available at press time Wednesday night. It will be published at a later date.
Today is Wednesday, Sept. 17, the 260th day of 2014. There are 105 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: We are told league merchants have paid no attention to the prohibition on selling ammunition, but continue to sell just as before the order was issued. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The Rev. R.F. Sweet, rector of Trinity Episcopal Parish, left for the East to visit his boyhood home in Boston before attending the general convention of the Episcopal Church in New York. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Dr. E.A. Anderson was named to succeed Dr. E.L. Kerns as head physician of the Modern Woodmen of America, and moved to Rock Island from Holdingford, Minn. 1939 -- 75 years ago: One week late, because of the outbreak of war, Dr. E.L. Beyer resumed his work as professor of romance languages at Augustana College. Dr. and Mrs. Beyer left Germany on the last train to the Belgian border. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Employees in Turnstyle stores in Moline and Davenport will vote Oct. 2 in an election set up by the Chicago regional office of the National Labor Relations Board. Employees will vote either for the Retail Clerk International or for no union. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Rock Island High School is considering a step to help teen moms stay in school and get their diploma. The school board is expected to vote tonight on instituting an on-site child care center.