Nearly 250 students will graduate from Redlands Community College Friday, May 11, with degrees that have prepared them to continue their education at a four-year university or begin making an impact in the workforce.
“While we have many outstanding faculty members who have played a vital role in educating these students, all of these graduates have demonstrated the dedication and drive that will serve them well in the future,” said Redlands President Jack Bryant. “Redlands is a special college because of the students who have chosen to get their start on promising careers on our campus.”
Kade Bollinger, the 10th child in his family to attend Redlands, is graduating Magna Cum Laude with an Associate in Arts degree and transferring to Southwestern Oklahoma State University to continue his education.
"I've been extremely blessed by God to be a part of such a big, loving, intelligent family. To think that so many of my own brothers and sisters have graduated from Redlands before me and have gone on to other colleges and now have successful careers is really something special. It's a tradition that I'm grateful to be a part of,” Bollinger said. “One thing I'll never forget about Redlands is the welcoming environment the professors, administrators and the rest of the staff create. It was clear to me that all of my professors not only cared about the student I was, but also the person I was.”
Lisa Johnson-Billy, Chickasaw legislator for Pontotoc District Seat 5, will give the commencement address. Johnson-Billy also served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, spending her final two years as the floor leader. In addition to being the first woman and Native American elected from House District 42, she co-founded the Native American caucus.
Graduates are receiving associate degrees in Arts, Applied Science and Science, as well as Certificates in Mastery in areas such as Child Development, Artificial Insemination in Livestock and Human/Social Services Assistant.
Nursing graduates will be honored during a pinning ceremony at noon Friday in the Redlands Fieldhouse, followed by a reception in the Conference Center. Commencement exercises begin at 4 p.m. in the fieldhouse.