International College Holds 14th Annual Commencement Ceremony June 1
WHO: International College.
WHAT: 14th Annual Commencement Ceremony. An estimated 375 students to graduate.
WHERE: Philharmonic Center for the Arts, 5833 Pelican Bay Boulevard, Naples.
WHEN: 4 P.M, June 1. COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER: Former Air Force pilot, Vietnam P.O.W., and motivational speaker Wayne Smith. He flew 90 missions over North Vietnam and Laos before he was shot down on Jan. 18, 1968, and captured. He spent 1,862 days as a prisoner in Hanoi Hilton, in and out of solitary confinement. He was among 658 POWs liberated during “Operation Homecoming.” Smith is 59 years old.
SPEAKER’S MESSAGE TO GRADS: “I want graduates to come away with the knowledge that they can overcome any major obstacle as long as they are willing to seek the help needed. Also, they need to remain strongly committed in order to achieve their goals.”
GRAD STORY 1: There are two sets of mother/daughter graduates this year. The first team is from Naples. The mother, Fran Scott, attended IC first, but took a leave of absence after her sister’s death. The death left Scott emotionally devastated. Scott returned when she realized her daughter, Dana Doston, would graduate. As it turns out, Doston was raised by the aunt who died. The second team is from Lehigh Acres. The mother, Fran Cassett-Culver, 42, attended IC first. The daughter, Samantha, enrolled after graduating from high school to be in the same college with her mother. Both mother/daughter teams are thrilled to graduate together.
GRAD STORY 2: 18-year old Jim Esch will be the youngest student in International College’s history to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. His father, Thomas Esch, graduated from IC in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in management. Jim Esch will receive his degree in management, also.
GRAD STORY 3: Student Jennifer Cohen, 43, put more than 130,000 miles on her brand new Toyota driving from her home in North Port, to her job in St. Petersburg and then to attend classes either two or three days a week at the IC Fort Myers campus - all in the name of getting her bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Technology. She enrolled at IC in 2001.