Valdosta State University President William McKinney was the keynote speaker at Albany Technical College’s Spring Commencement Friday night, where he urged the new graduates to pursue their dreams and not look back “because we need you.” (Staff Photo: Terry Lewis)
ALBANY — Friday was a good day for Nature Malone. Not only did she pick up a second degree during Albany Technical College’s Spring Commencement, hours earlier she was given a promotion at her job..
She was just one of more than 130 to receive associates degrees, more than 400 diplomas and nearly 600 technical certificates of credit from the college. In addition, more than 130 graduates received their GEDs.
Malone is a former student of Albany Tech, who previously earned an associate’s degree in Business Logistics Management and graduated this time with honors with her associate’s in Operations Management. A single mom of two children, Malone continues to work part-time as an Administrative Coordinator for the American Red Cross Flint River Chapter and is a Disaster Relief Volunteer.
Friday afternoon, she said she was promoted to the local organization’s Disaster Program Manager.
“It has been a lot of work, but I have succeeded with the help of my instructors, my supervisor, and the support of my family and friends,” said Malone. “My instructor became my mentor and I learned skills that will help me in my current profession. I will apply what we learned in the classroom, like inter-personal skills in working with people, in the field.
“I am a proud Titan and will continue to give back to the college as a two-time alumni.”
Also among Friday night’s graduates was retired Marine Bessie Bolden, who received her associate’s degree in Business Administrative Technology. A native of Eudora, Ark., Bolden is also a 2012 graduate from Albany Tech’s Business Logistics Management program and returned to ATC to “sharpen her skills.”
In October of last year, Bolden was hired to work for CGI Federal and she works at MCLB-Albany as a systems analyst. She attributes her success to the instructors at Albany Tech.
“I loved my instructors and really enjoyed the on-campus experience where I made many new friends,” Bolden said. “I got my job as a result of hard work and Albany Tech. The resume and interview workshops helped with that.”
The keynote speaker for the evening was Valdosta State University President William McKinney, who urged the newly-minted graduates to pursue their dreams with passion.
“When I graduated from Bucknell in 1986, I planned to go to law school, but life had other plans for me,” McKinney, who was named VSU’s ninth president in July of 2012, said. “You all have decisions to make. Do what you love, pursue your dreams and never look back. I give you this challenge — be bold. Take the education Albany Tech has given you, and much has been given to you, and pay it back.
“Seek new solutions to old problems because we need you.”