Florence-Darlington Technical College graduation includes many firsts
Florence-Darlington Technical College’s graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 12 was absolutely electric, as more than 600 graduates walked across the stage to receive degrees, diplomas and certificates.
“I have attended hundreds of graduations throughout the years, but this was my favorite thus far,” said FDTC President Dr. Jermaine Ford.
The ceremony marked the first for Ford, who arrived at FDTC last October to serve as the institution’s fifth president. By the end of Ford’s opening remarks, the crowd was going wild with electric energy, setting up the night for a special celebration.
“FDTC’s North Star is student success,” said Ford. “I’m proud of all our graduates, as well as our faculty and staff. My journey started at Moraine Valley Community College in 1994 with my associate degree. In 2022, I got an opportunity to pay it forward and witness my graduates accomplish their first degrees and certificates. Education does matter!”
This year’s FDTC graduation also marked the first for the college’s new ceremonial mace that was manufactured on-campus at the SiMT. The mace symbolizes FDTC’s integrity and its promise to put students first. It was used to lead graduation, and it will be used during future events as well.
“It was an honor to be the first Mace bearer at Florence-Darlington Technical College,” said Faculty Senate President and Paralegal Instructor, Tracy Evans. “As the Faculty Senate President, I had the privilege of leading the procession and sitting on the dias. I am grateful for this opportunity to serve my college.”
Nursing alumna and City of Florence Mayor Teresa Myers Ervin served as the guest speaker. Throughout her speech, she shared her life story and her journey through FDTC’s nursing program.
“It was our motto that if you could get through Florence-Darlington. Tech through that nursing program, you could pass the Board, and you could do anything from that point,” said Myers Ervin. “It’s okay to be great. It’s okay to be the first. Go ahead, and shine. Light up the universe with your talent, and if anyone can’t stand your shine, let them put on shades. You go ahead and do it anyway. I’m going to ask you, as a part of your alumni, keep it moving, and as you’re moving, allow everyone to know that you graduated from Florence-Darlington Technical College. One of the leading colleges