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504 graduate from Butler County Community College

Robert Synder moves his tassel after receiving his diploma for an associate degree in applied science at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle

BUTLER TWP — For former EMT rescue technician and firefighter Deborah Hoffman, graduating from Butler County Community College was partly a way to inspire her daughter.

Hoffman was one of 504 students graduating this year. On her cap was a gold tassel indicating her membership in Phi Theta Kappa, BC3’s honor society, and a locket with pictures of her grandparents who passed away.

She was accompanied by her 9-year-old daughter and her aunt. Her daughter, she said, was one reason she went to get her degree.

“I did it to show her that she can do whatever she puts her mind to,” she said.

She said another reason she chose to get her associate degree was an injury that prevented her from continuing her previous career.

“Three years ago or so I was in a car accident and I had my foot on the break,” she said. “I can’t do a lot of standing anymore so I went back to school for a desk job.”

Now, Hoffman said, she works for AIM EMS Software & Services in Slippery Rock.

Shannon Schultz laughs during professor David C. Huseman's keynote address at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle

BC3 held its 56th Annual Commencement Ceremony on its main campus on Wednesday.

The campus was decorated with signs congratulating the 2024 graduates. The ceremony was held in the BC3 Field House.

Mikyla Metz was a fellow graduate. She got her associates in nursing and is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa.

Like Hoffman, Metz also considers herself to be a nontraditional student.

“Twelve years out of high school, two kids and a husband, and then I was like ‘It’s time to do something with my life,”’ she said.

It was her family as well, Metz said, that drew her to community college.

“I needed a career that could have growth but also could support my family and the lifestyle that we live,” she said.

Now, she said, she has a job lined up in the operating room at AHN Wexford Hospital.

“Its been a rough ride but we did it,” she said.

Hannah Titley, of Butler, was another nursing major to walk that stage at the 2024 commencement.

Shannon Davies moves her tassel after receiving her diploma for an associate in arts degree at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle

Titley graduated from Butler Senior High School in 2022. She was accompanied by her godmother, Kris Slupe, who she says acted as her support system along with her mother, grandmother and boyfriend.

Titley said her next step is getting a job at a hospital. She has interviews at UPMC Mercy, UPMC Passavant and UPMC Magee.

“Hannah worked very hard,” Slupe said. “This was a challenging degree for her but she worked very hard and we’re very proud of her.”

Professor David C. Huseman gave a keynote address to the graduating class of 2024.

As part of his speech, Huseman shared an anecdote from his time student teaching while he was working on getting his undergraduate degree.

Huseman said he was teaching a government class. For the final class, he wrote “What is good about America” on the board at the front of the class.

“For every positive that students gave, I countered with a negative,” he said.

Huseman specifically referenced Plessy v. Ferguson, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that established “separate but equal” accommodations for Black and white people. He also countered that women did not have the right to vote until 1920.

“My plan was to say that despite all the negatives, we still lived in the greatest country in the world,” he said. “But I lost track of time. Students left class with all the negative comments in their minds. Parents thought they had a communist teaching in their school.”

The next day, he received a three-week suspension from student teaching to “allow things to cool down.”

“After that meeting on Monday, I returned to the house I was staying in with five other guys and said ‘I cannot teach in a high school,’” Huseman said.

After graduating with his bachelors, Huseman went to Indiana University, who had just established a graduate program for community college instructors. He graduated a year later in 1967 and started teaching at BC3 the same year. He’s been a professor at BC3 for 57 years, and is the namesake for BC3’s Huseman Center for Economic Education.

The theme of his speech, he said: Don’t let obstacles stand in your way.

Robert William Young III receives his diploma for an associate degree in applied science from Butler County Community College president Nick Neupauer at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Olivia Vissari delivers the student address at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Khadija Akhouad receives her diploma for an associated in applied science degree from Butler County Community College president Nick Neupauer at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Natasha D’Amico receives her diploma for an associate in science degree at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Natasha D'Amico receives her diploma for an associate in science degree at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Professor David Huseman gives the keynote address at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Austin Norris receives his diploma for an associate in science degree at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Professor David Huseman gives the keynote address at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Brendan Fetterman moves his tassel after receiving his diploma at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Daniel Hamilton congratulates the 2024 graduating class during the student alumni welcome address at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Austin Norris walks off stage after receiving his diploma at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Butler County Community College president Nick Neupauer gives the Presidential Address at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Hannah Benzinger receives her diploma for an associated in applied science degree from Butler County Community College president Nick Neupauer at the Butler County Community College commencement ceremony at the BC3 Field House on Wednesday, May 15. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle

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