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EAC's 119th Commencement held

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EAC's 119th Commencement held

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 119th annual commencement exercises held the evening of May 8. There were a total of 345 candidates for graduation.

Listed in the 119th 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 Representative Rich Crandall, who serves in the Arizona House of Representatives. Mr. Crandall was raised in Arizona from the age of eight, attending elementary school in Flagstaff and finishing junior high and high school in Safford.

He is passionate about education in Arizona and currently serves as the Chairman of the Education Committee in the Arizona House of Representatives. He also serves on the Appropriations and Commerce Committees and in fulfilling his committee assignments he is a strong advocate for Eastern Arizona College.

Mr. Crandall has a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s of Accountancy degree from Brigham Young University and a Master’s of Business Administration from Notre Dame University.

Also taking the podium to speak was the representative of the Class of 2009, Kia Palmer, and faculty representative, Dean of Counseling, Richard Spining.

Palmer, oldest child of Julie and Colton Palmer, graduated Friday evening with an Associate of Science Degree in chemistry with a nearly perfect grade point average. She has the distinction of having taken the most advanced math, physics, and chemistry classes offered at EAC while playing clarinet in EAC’s Symphony Orchestra and tutoring fellow chemistry students. Palmer plans to attend BYU-Provo and major in food science.

Spining spoke as a representative of the faculty. He was born and raised in Ganado, Arizona on the Navajo Nation where his father served as a medical missionary. He attended the University of Arizona where he completed Bachelor of Arts degrees in history and in psychology, a Master of Arts degree in history, and a Master of Education degree in counseling. He served in the US Army as an intelligence officer in Vietnam in 1971.

In 1973, Spining went to work for the Hopi Tribal Education Department in Northern Arizona. He came to work at EAC in 1981 as the Director of Counseling and then as Assistant Dean of Counseling. In addition to his administrative duties at Eastern, he has proudly served as advisor to the Inter-Tribal club and Phi Theta Kappa as well as advised thousands of students.

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