The bleachers in Lee arena were packed to capacity May 15. Families, friends and well-wishers packed the arena, some carrying gifts, flowers and balloons to see their favorite grads accept their diplomas.
The Washburn Tech graduating class of spring 2014 is a record breaking class numbering 599 students.
“You never know for sure how many can come,” said Kathryn Stroebele, associate dean for student services, as students pored through the doors of Lee Arena. “But you can see we have a lot already.”
There were also a record number of students who made the National Technical Honor Society. They were 72 students strong this year.
“Your grades must be all A’s or B’s,” said Diane Stumpf, instructor at Washburn Tech. “Only the best and the brightest students make it. They have to have leadership traits and have to have had a certain amount of community involvement.”
Blake Anderson and Jennifer Knudson were the two outstanding students honored. Both received straight A’s during their time as Washburn Tech students. Anderson studied climate and energy control. Knudsen is an LPN and will be entering Washburn University to become an RN. They were each awarded with a plaque and $500.
President Farley of Washburn University addressed the grads.
“We are proud of you and what you have done at Washburn Tech,” said Farley, to rousing applause and cheers. “You will be able to take these skills and they will serve you forever.”
The words “imagine, transpire and transform” are the words tech students are greeted with in the halls of the school every day, words they are encouraged to live by.
”Washburn Tech was a unique opportunity,” said graduate Donald Fortin” as he prepared to receive his diploma, “ [it] provides tremendous opportunities.”
Students leaving the ceremonies said they plan to celebrate. Graduate Alex Woodell planned to celebrate with his family. Still others planned to meet at Skinny’s on Huntoon and Gage streets in Topeka.