Neat Gives 400 Wor-Wic Grads Keys to Success
May 10, 2006

Marty Neat, president and CEO of the First Shore Federal Savings and Loan Association and the featured speaker at Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises Tuesday night at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, used quotes from his high school history teacher, Booker T. Washington and Frank Morris to tell the more than 400 graduates how to achieve success.

Quoting Lonnie Nixon, his high school history teacher, Neat told the graduates to “enjoy what you do.” “If you love what you do,” Neat continued, “you’ll never work a day in your life.” Neat added, however, that “no matter how much we enjoy our work... most of us will find the occasion when it is a real challenge.”

Using a quote from Booker T. Washington, Neat told the graduates to look at those challenges as opportunities: “Success can be measured not so much by the station we reach in life as by the obstacles we overcome in our quest to succeed.”

“Many of you have already overcome obstacles,” Neat said. “You’ll face more disappointments and obstacles. Treat them as opportunities to do better.”

The speaker also told the graduates about the importance of community service. The quote attributed to local businessman Frank Morris was that “we cannot have a better life without improving our community. To that end, each of us must share the responsibility with all of our citizens. Our particular duty is to do those things that we are capable of doing.”

Neat encouraged the graduates to “do what you enjoy. Don’t be stopped by a challenge. Do what you can for the community. Never stop learning.”

Russell W. Blake, chairperson of Wor-Wic’s board of trustees, introduced the commencement speaker, members of the board of trustees and other guests on stage. He also remembered the late Del. K. Bennett Bozman, D-38, and all of his contributions to Wor-Wic over the past 30 years. After the commencement address by Neat, Dr. Ray Hoy, college president, presented him with a plaque on behalf of the 2006 graduating class.

Dr. Stephen L. Capelli, vice president for academic and student affairs at Wor-Wic, introduced the student speaker, Valerie Edwards of Delmar, Md., a business transfer honors program graduate with a 4.0 grade point average who plans to transfer to Salisbury University to pursue a four-year degree in marketing.

Addressing her fellow members of the Class of 2006, Edwards recalled coming to Wor-Wic two years ago as a 34-year-old stay-at-home wife and mother with only a high school diploma who “did not possess the skills I needed to be a successful student.” She said that “Wor-Wic has presented each of us with many gifts, namely motivation, confidence and goals.”

Edwards said she obtained the motivation to strive for excellence through her experiences as a student in the honors program. Confidence, she said, came mostly from her speech class. And, the ability to establish goals occurred after meetings with her advisor and student services personnel.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of student you were when you began your education at Wor-Wic. Thanks to our teachers, we are all leaving Wor-Wic as more motivated individuals,” Edwards said. “Wor-Wic has given us the confidence to develop our strengths and improve our weaknesses... I am certain that each of you has either had your goals become clear, confirmed or changed for the better through the family atmosphere that the faculty and staff at Wor-Wic provide. Now that we have been steered in the right direction, we cannot let anything stand in the way of accomplishing our goals.”

Edwards was one of 102 graduates receiving associate of arts degrees or certificates of proficiency in general studies. Another general studies graduate, Gregory Groves of Berlin, 18, has the distinction of being the youngest in the class. Groves was also enrolled in the honors program, and served as vice president of the college’s Alpha Nu Omicron chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. While working on his degree at Wor-Wic, Groves took private pilot lessons through the Wicomico Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. This fall, Groves is transferring to James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., to complete a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He is also enrolling in the Air Force ROTC at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

The only major where the numbers of graduates were higher than general studies was nursing, with 108 graduates -- 58 receiving associate degrees and 50 receiving certificates of proficiency.

Criminal justice is the next largest group of graduates, with 15 degrees and 46 certificates. Business majors follow, with 42 degrees and 5 certificates.

Other graduates received degrees or certificates in office technology, education, chemical dependency counseling, hotel-motel-restaurant management, accounting, computer studies, radiologic technology, electronics, construction engineering technology and manufacturing engineering technology.

Education, one of Wor-Wic’s newest program areas, had graduates such as Michael Forrest of Bishopville, who developed medical complications as a result of 20 years of work as a fiberglass insulation installer. He enrolled in Wor-Wic’s secondary education transfer and received his associate of arts degree. He plans to transfer to Salisbury University to complete his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and pursue a career as a middle or high school math teacher.

The majority of the graduates are from Salisbury or other parts of Wicomico County, followed by Worcester, Somerset, Dorchester, Talbot, Caroline and Queen Anne’s counties. Graduates are also from Delaware and Virginia.

Dignitaries seated on stage included members of the college's board of trustees, D. Gary Boggs, vice chairperson, Morgan Hazel and Robert M. Lawrence, all of Salisbury, and Velda E. Henry of Berlin; members of the Wicomico County Council, Anthony S. Sarbanes, president, Charles R. “Chip” Dashiell Jr., Gail M. Bartkovich and Edward T. Taylor, all of Salisbury; and members of the Worcester County Commissioners, James L. Purnell Jr. of Berlin, president, Louise L. Gulyas of Ocean City, vice president, John E. “Sonny” Bloxom of Pocomoke City, Judy Boggs and Thomas A. Cetola of Berlin, and Virgil L. Shockley of Snow Hill. Other special guests on stage were Del. Norman H. Conway, D-38, of Salisbury; Del. Adelaide C. Eckardt, R-37B, of Cambridge, Del. D. Page Elmore, R-38, of Salisbury, and Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, R-37B, of Easton.

HONORS PROGRAM GRADUATES. Honors program graduates that attended Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center Tuesday evening are shown, from left, Gregory Groves of Berlin and Jennifer Webster of Hebron, general studies graduates, and Valerie Edwards of Delmar, Md., a business transfer graduate and student speaker, with the honors program advisor, Dr. Elinor Phillips Cubbage of Hebron, professor of English. Honors graduates not shown are Roie Cordrey of Upper Fairmount, Jennifer Flanders of Salisbury, Michael Mason of Salisbury, Cameron Royal of Salisbury and Albert Weymouth of Berlin, all general studies graduates.

ON STAGE. Some of the officials seated on stage for Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center Tuesday evening are shown, from left, Russell W. Blake of Pocomoke City, chairperson of the board of trustees; Dr. Ray Hoy of Salisbury, president of the college; Valerie Edwards of Delmar, Md., a business transfer graduate and student speaker; Marty Neat of Salisbury, president and CEO of the First Shore Federal Savings and Loan Association in Salisbury who was the commencement speaker; Anthony S. Sarbanes of Salisbury, president of the Wicomico County Council; and James L. Purnell Jr., of Berlin, president of the Worcester County Commissioners.

FROM SOUTHERN WORCESTER. John E. “Sonny” Bloxom of Pocomoke City, left, a member of the Worcester County Commissioners, congratulates some of the graduates from southern Worcester County who received their associate degrees at Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center Tuesday evening. From left next to Bloxom are Nicole Adkins of Snow Hill, a general studies graduate, Latavia Smith of Pocomoke City, an elementary education transfer graduate, and Michelle Fiorelli of Newark, a chemical dependency counseling graduate.

FROM NORTHERN WORCESTER. James L. Purnell Jr. of Berlin, left, president of the Worcester County Commissioners, congratulates some of the graduates from northern Worcester County who received their associate degrees at Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center Tuesday evening. From left next to Purnell are Gregory Groves of Berlin, a general studies graduate, Amy Watts of Ocean City, a nursing graduate, and Michael Forrest of Bishopville, a secondary education transfer graduate. Also congratulating the graduates is Del. Norman H. Conway, D-38, of Salisbury, at far right.

SOMERSET GRADUATES. Del. D. Page Elmore, R-38, of Salisbury, left, congratulates some of the graduates from Somerset County who received their associate degrees at Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center Tuesday evening. From left next to Elmore are Wykena Jones of Princess Anne, a business transfer graduate, and Erin Todd of Crisfield, who majored in nursing.

FROM THE UPPER SHORE. Del. Adelaide C. Eckardt, R-37B, of Cambridge, from left, and Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, R-37B, of Easton, congratulate some of the graduates from the Upper Shore who received their associate degrees at Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center Tuesday evening. From left next to Haddaway-Riccio are Lesley Williams of Cambridge, a chemical dependency counseling graduate, and Ryan Simms of Rhodesdale, a computer studies graduate.

Wor-Wic Community College licensed practical nursing graduates, from left, Lorena Lovely of Fruitland, and Tyra Geary and Jennifer Patterson of Salisbury, are pictured at the college’s commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, along with Michele Lamb of Salisbury, a business graduate, and Dawn Harmon of Eden, a chemical dependency counseling graduate.

Wor-Wic Community College graduates at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, from left to right, include criminal justice majors, Lahomia Ames of Princess Anne, and Le’Kia Murray and Shondra Mills of Salisbury, with Brian Polk of Quantico, a chemical dependency counseling graduate.

Fredericka B. Harrington of Snow Hill, left, associate professor of office technology and computer studies at Wor-Wic Community College, talks with Dana Cody of Snow Hill, a licensed practical nursing graduate, at the college’s commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center.