In his remarks at the GCC Class of 2013 Graduation Rehearsal, Erik Risinger ’13 urged his fellow graduates/soon-to-be-alumni to stay connected to their college.
Following are his words:
“Ladies and Gentlemen,
I’d like to direct your attention for a moment to the fact that you are about to leave GCC. Which, if you’re like me, is both awesome and scary. And I would further ask that you consider for a moment what it means to be not just a graduate of GCC, but an alum.
Like a lot of people, I came to GCC with zero sense of direction. When I first enrolled I signed up for three classes: psychology, botany, and music theory. That’s how lost I was. It took a long time, a lot of credits, and a lot of dead ends, but the moment I sat down to work on my first Java programming project, I knew: Computer Science was what I had come here looking for. I am endlessly grateful to GCC for allowing me the time and space to find myself, and I am certain that nowhere else would I have found the support of so many people willing to guide me down pathway after pathway – for as long as it took – until I had found my direction.
If you are anything like me, you are not the same person today that you were when you came. You have been transformed – into a fuller, wiser, more confident version of yourself. That is GCC’s gift to you.
How do you return the favor? Easy: be more than just a graduate: be an alum. Stay active, stay connected, and stay involved. Know what’s going on with the school and be prepared to lend a hand in whatever way feels best to you. Participate in school events; be on a panel; donate your time, your experience, or someday – in the near future, when you’re loaded – your money. These are all of real value to GCC. And they’re all ways of showing that you aren’t just a graduate of some two-year school somewhere in Western Massachusetts: you are an alumnus or an alumna of Greenfield Community College.
Erik transferred to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and is currently enrolled in the Computer Science Program. He demonstrates the values he encouraged his classmates to adopt at Rehearsal that night by continuing to volunteer on campus this year at GCC as a Peer Tutor.
To learn more about how you can be connected and make a difference in many ways to your community’s college, call 413-775-1600