MARIETTA - Marietta College held its 2012 winter commencement Sunday when 58 seniors in the Class of 2013 graduated early.
"This is a more informal affair than our commencement exercises in May-we usually have about 20 to 25 of the graduates and their families who attend the December event," said Gama Perruci, interim provost and dean of faculty.
Graduating seniors will receive their diplomas in May, but the school likes to recognize those who have completed their requirements in mid-year, Perruci said.
"You were given a charge to excel, and you have done that," Perruci said.
The mission of the college is to teach leadership, critical thinking and problem solving, he told the students.
"We expect you will not be a bystander, but you'll take a leadership role in whatever you do," Perruci said. "You are not expected to be a passive recipient of information, but that you will generate that information. And we want you to be in the solution business, connecting the dots to solve problems."
The View From The Real World
* Hiring of new college grads in 2013 is expected to increase by 13 percent over 2012, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
* Bachelor's degrees in business administration or management will be the most in demand, followed closely by degrees in management information systems, according to the association's Job Outlook 2013 survey.
* Degrees in computer and information science, marketing, and mechanical engineering will also be in high demand, according to the survey.
Graduates should follow their passion and develop a sense of purpose in their lives and approach life's challenges with a sense of humility, Perruci said.
"Focus on serving others," Perruci said. "Ultimately college was not about you, but it was about getting you ready to serve others."
Marietta College President Joseph Bruno reminded the grads why they were chosen to attend the institution.
"You were admitted to Marietta College because you exhibited that certain spark to learn and to keep on learning," he said. "And the task of realizing your true potential never ends."
Many of the 58 mid-year graduates will have the advantage of entering the workforce earlier than their classmates who will graduate in May,
Cornell Penn said his 23-year-old granddaughter Shayla Holloway of Cleveland, is getting a head start on the others.
"These graduates have a six-month jump on the May grads," he said. "And you need any advantage you can get in the current job market."
Holloway, who majored in advertising and public relations, has already applied for a position with the Charlotte (N.C.) Bobcats basketball team.
"They advertised a job opening in social media, and I applied," she said. "And I've already been called for a second interview."
Katelyn Eckrote, 22, of Tonawanda, N.Y., also plans on entering the job market in North Carolina.
"My major was intervention specialist-teaching special education in K-12," she said. "I don't have anything lined up yet, but I'm looking toward the Greensboro, N.C., area."
Bo Sun, 21, from Beijing, China, who earned a degree in finance, plans on graduate school.
"I haven't decided where I want to go-maybe in the U.S. or maybe Canada," she said.
Kyle Lindquist, 22, of Columbus, a marketing graduate, already has a job coaching baseball for Marietta College in 2013.
As a senior pitcher for the Marietta College team this year, in July Lindquist also signed on with the Rockford RiverHawks of the Frontier Professional Baseball League.
"It couldn't have worked out better for him," said Kyle's father, Eric Lindquist. "It's a perfect opportunity that he'll be coaching for Marietta College next year."