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EAC graduates record number of students

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EAC graduates record number of students

By Lori Dugan

THATCHER, AZ—The stands at John Mickelson Field were once again filled to capacity as family and friends gathered for Eastern Arizona College’s 118th annual commencement exercises held the evening of May 9. The number of candidates for graduation was the largest in the history of the College with 388 students crossing the stage.

Listed in the 118th Annual Commencement program were candidates for graduation divided among degrees including Associate of Arts, Associate of Business, Associate of Science, Associate of General Studies, and Associate of Applied Science degrees.

In addition to the traditional portions of the event, the crowd heard comments from a number of individuals, including a welcome from EAC President Mark Bryce and remarks from the president of EAC’s Alumni Association, Keith Crockett.

The guest speaker for the evening was Charles E. Jones, J.D., who served as chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court from January 2002 until his retirement in June 2005. Prior to being elected by his peers as chief justice, he had served a five-year term as vice chief justice.

Jones was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court in 1996 and received his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in 1959 and his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1962. He and his wife, Ann, live in Phoenix, Arizona.

Also taking the podium to speak was class of 2008 representative Matthew L. Smith and faculty representative Dr. Hal Weaver.

Smith, son of Dr. and Mrs. Glade Smith graduated Friday evening with an Associate of General Studies Degree. In earning this degree he maintained a 4.0 grade point average and graduated with highest honors. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and plans to attend either the University of Arizona or Brigham Young University with the eventual goal of becoming an orthodontist. Matt has been an exemplary student during his time at Eastern Arizona College.

Weaver spoke as a representative of the faculty. He began his career in Tucson after completing his education at the University of Kansas where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Human Development, and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Developmental and Child Psychology. While residing in Tucson, Weaver practiced psychology and in 1980 was employed as chief psychologist by the Arizona Department of Corrections at the State Prison in Florence.

In 1990, Weaver came to teach full time in the psychology department at Eastern Arizona College and also taught undergraduate and graduate courses for Northern Arizona University. He retired from his duties as dean of instruction at EAC in early 2008, but continues to serve higher education as a facilitator, systems appraiser, and site reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission’s Academic Quality Improvement Program. He also continues to make important contributions locally as he serves as one of Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Company’s facilitators for their Supervisory Development Program.

A reception in honor of the graduates followed the ceremony at the Gila Hank’s Pavillion.