College set to become Eastern Florida State College in July
By Amanda Anderson
BREVARD -- A sea of black caps and gowns filled the King Center for the Performing Arts this week, as diplomas were distributed to Brevard Community College graduates for the last time.
Thursday, May 16, marked BCC's final commencement ceremonies, in which more than 1,900 graduates were eligible to receive their diplomas -- the golden ticket to their futures. The first ceremony was held at noon for students at the Palm Bay and Melbourne campuses, and the second at 4 p.m. for those who attended the Titusville and Cocoa campuses.
The institution is set to be renamed Eastern Florida State College on July 1, a change that will reflect the school's mission to begin offering four-year bachelor's degrees in the fall 2013 term.
Since its founding 53 years ago, BCC has nurtured the minds of more than a half-million students and conferred almost 90,000 degrees. The college also consistently ranks as one of the leading community colleges in the state, as well as the nation.
At the noon ceremony, BCC president Dr. Jim Richey spoke highly of the school's rich legacy, and recognized three previous college presidents --Dr. Maxwell King, Dr. Mike Kaliszeski and Dr. Jim Drake -- who each played a critical role in the college's success.
Because of its rich history along the Space Coast, one would think that the last commencement ceremonies would hold a bit of nostalgia for those involved, but John Glisch, associate vice president of communications at BCC disagrees.
"Graduation, this year, was about honoring our past and, also, really saluting and looking forward to the future as Eastern Florida State College," Mr. Glisch said. "BCC's legacy can be measured many ways, and that is something we are extremely proud of."
A huge reason for BCC's success, Mr. Glisch said, is the outstanding work of the faculty and staff throughout the past half-century.
"The legacy of the college, in terms of the character of our students and graduates, is extraordinary," Mr. Glisch added. "Our graduates have gone on to serve in leadership roles in many sectors, serving not only Brevard County, but throughout the entire nation."
As July 1 quickly approaches, Mr. Glisch excitedly looks forward to the future.
"We're going to be building on the excellence of BCC, which is reflected in our reputation among more than 1,200 community colleges nationwide," he said. "The focus of that is really serving our students to succeed and, also, to serve our community by using the resources of our college to help economic growth along the Space Coast."
The Brevard Community College Spring 2013 commencement ceremonies will be broadcasted on WBCC-TTV on Tuesday, May 28, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 2 at noon. WBCC can be viewed over-the-air on channel 68.1 and on Bright House Cable channels 9, 455 and 1068.