1986 Alum Address 450 Wor-Wic Grads
May 11, 2005

N. Charles Nichols, the featured speaker at Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises Tuesday night at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, used personal experiences from the 1980s when he was a student at the college to relay his message about the seven Cs of success -- conception, confidence, concentration, consistency, commitment, character and capacity.

Attributing his seven Cs to best-selling author and motivational speaker, Tom Morris, Nichols told the college’s largest graduating class of 450 students to have “a clear CONCEPTION of what you want, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined,” “a strong CONFIDENCE that you can attain the goal,” “a focused CONCENTRATION on what it takes to reach the goal,” “a stubborn CONSISTENCY in pursuing your vision,” “an emotional COMMITMENT to the importance of what you are doing,” “a good CHARACTER to guide you and keep you on a proper course” and “a CAPACITY to enjoy the process along the way.”

“I challenge you today,” Nichols said, “to move your vision of the future into reality by focusing upon the seven Cs of success.... If you do, you will go far.

“So dream your dream for your life,” Nichols added, “but do it with a plan, do it with your goals set high and with your spirit ready to put forth that extra effort to achieve.”

Russell W. Blake, chairperson of Wor-Wic’s board of trustees, introduced the commencement speaker. Nichols was chosen to address this year’s graduating class as part of Wor-Wic’s year-long 30th anniversary celebration. A 1986 graduate of Wor-Wic’s hotel-motel-restaurant management program, Nichols’ commencement address was particularly relevant to the college’s 30th anniversary theme of “Changing Lives since 1975.” After the commencement address by Nichols, Dr. Ray Hoy, college president, presented him with a plaque on behalf of the 2005 graduating class.

Dr. Stephen L. Capelli, vice president for academic and student affairs at Wor-Wic, introduced the student speaker, Joy Andrews-Hooker of Salisbury, a general studies and honors program graduate who is transferring to Temple University in Philadelphia to major in pre-med in the fall.

Andrews-Hooker recalled her first visit to Wor-Wic by saying, “Whether you were like me returning to school after many years, or coming to Wor-Wic fresh out of high school, I’m sure we were all a little nervous that first visit.... The staff at Wor-Wic has gone above and beyond to make our educational experience a successful one.
“We are the leaders of tomorrow,” Andrews-Hooker continued. “We stand proud and willing to succeed in our educational goals. The human spirit is a beautiful thing.... The sky’s the limit. I offer you all my best wishes in achieving your dreams.”

Andrews-Hooker is one of 93 graduates receiving associate of arts degrees or certificates of proficiency in general studies. Another general studies graduate, Matthew Adkins of Salisbury, 17, has the distinction of being the youngest in the class. Adkins is completing the requirements for his two-year degree in one year, attending Wor-Wic’s commencement about a month before he attends his high school graduation ceremony. Adkins is planning to transfer to Salisbury University (SU) as a junior in the fall, to study organismal biology.

The only major where the numbers of graduates were higher than general studies was nursing, with 114 graduates -- 51 receiving associate degrees and 63 receiving certificates of proficiency. The oldest member of the class of 2005, Brenda Marino of Bishopville, 59, is graduating from the nursing program. Marino became a licensed practical nurse (LPN) while living in Texas in 1981, moved back to the area 13 years ago and went to work as a secretary when Atlantic General Hospital (AGH) opened in Berlin. Wanting to get back into nursing, Marino completed an LPN refresher course offered through Wor-Wic’s continuing education office and then took a job as an LPN at AGH. With encouragement from her supervisors and co-workers, Marino decided to go back to school to become a registered nurse (RN). It took her five years, working full time and taking one or two classes each semester, to complete Wor-Wic’s associate degree program that leads to RN licensure.

Another nursing graduate, Colby Foxwell of Salisbury, is following in her sister’s footsteps, by earning her associate of science degree in nursing. Her sister and role model, Carla, graduated from Wor-Wic’s associate degree nursing program in 1998, when the program was still located at the Eastern Shore Hospital Center in Cambridge.

Criminal justice is the next largest group of graduates, with 21 degrees and 44 certificates. Business majors follow, with 36 degrees and 6 certificates. Donald A. Kuczenski of Delmar completed the requirements for associate degrees in both of these programs. Kuczenski started studying business at SU after graduating from Delmar High School in 1994, but he put that objective on hold to become a police officer. After getting a job with the Salisbury Police Department and completing the entrance-level law enforcement training program offered through Wor-Wic’s Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy, Kuczenski decided to finish the requirements for his criminal justice and business degrees. He is one of 15 graduates receiving two or more degrees.

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 emergency medical services.

Education, one of Wor-Wic’s newest program areas, had graduates such as Teresa Hathway of Sharptown, who owns a child care center and is completing the requirements for her associate of applied science degree in early childhood education; Thelma Douglas of Princess Anne, another early childhood education major, who worked hard to become the first person in her immediate family to obtain a postsecondary education degree; and Jennifer Smith of Salisbury, who completed the requirements for her associate of arts degree in the elementary education transfer program and is now a junior majoring in elementary education program at SU. Smith is the third person in her immediate family to graduate from Wor-Wic.

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

Dignitaries seated on stage included members of the college's board of trustees, Henry S. Parker of Salisbury, vice chairperson, Morgan Hazel and Robert M. Lawrence of Salisbury, and Velda E. Henry of Berlin; members of the Wicomico County Council, Charles R. “Chip” Dashiell Jr., Gail M. Bartkovich and Edward T. Taylor, all of Salisbury; and members of the Worcester County Commissioners, John E. “Sonny” Bloxom of Pocomoke City, president, James L. Purnell Jr. of Berlin, vice president, Judy Boggs and Thomas A. Cetola of Berlin, Louise L. Gulyas of Ocean City and Virgil L. Shockley of Snow Hill. Other special guests on stage were Sen. Richard F. Colburn, R-37, of Cambridge; Del. K. Bennett Bozman, D-38, of Berlin, Del. Rudolph C. Cane, D-37A, of Hebron, 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, R-37B, of Bozman.

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; Joy Andrews-Hooker of Salisbury, a general studies graduate and student speaker; R. Charles Nichols of Berlin, a 1986 graduate of Wor-Wic and senior vice president of BSC America who was the commencement speaker; Charles R. “Chip” Dashiell Jr. of Salisbury, vice president of the Wicomico County Council; and John E. “Sonny” Bloxom of Pocomoke City, president of the Worcester County Commissioners.

FROM SOUTHERN WORCESTER. Virgil L. Shockley of Snow Hill, 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’s commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center Tuesday evening. From left next to Shockley are Erica Galeone of Pocomoke City, a nursing graduate, Gloria Reddon of Girdletree, an office technology graduate, and Leon Doughty of Snow Hill, a chemical dependency graduate.

FROM NORTHERN WORCESTER. Del. K. Bennett Bozman, D-38, of Berlin, left, congratulates some of the graduates from northern Worcester County who received their associate degrees at Wor-Wic Community College’s commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center Tuesday evening. From left next to Bozman are Alicyn Beeman of Berlin, a hotel-motel-restaurant management graduate, Brenda Marino of Bishopville, a nursing graduate, and Tabitha Hays of Ocean City, a general studies graduate.

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 Mary Taylor of Crisfield, a secondary education transfer graduate, Thelma Douglas of Princess Anne, an early childhood education graduate, and Jaclyn Walter of Marion Station, a hotel-motel-restaurant management graduate.

FROM THE UPPER SHORE. Amanda Gullion of Secretary, an emergency medical services graduate, and Nathan Molock of Vienna, a criminal justice graduate, who received their associate degrees at Wor-Wic Community College commencement exercises at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center Tuesday evening are congratulated by Del. Jeannie Haddaway, R-37B, of Bozman, Del. Adelaide C. Eckardt, R-37B, of Cambridge and Sen. Richard F. Colburn, R-37, of Cambridge.