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Sixty One Graduate Mid-year

At a mid-afternoon ceremony in Phelps Stokes Chapel on Dec. 11, Dr. Liane B. Russell, genetics and radiation biology pioneer, addressed 61 students participating in the recognition service for mid-year graduates. Candidates being recognized are expected to complete degree requirements at the end of December 2005 or January 2006.

Winter graduates of 2005 stand in rapt attention and anticipation of life's next chapter.

Dr. Russell, who was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree from Berea College, is a native of Vienna, Austria. Russell was the recipient of the 1994 Enrico Fermi Award, the United States government’s oldest science and technology award. The Presidential award is given for a lifetime of achievement in the field of nuclear energy.

Following are comments from several of the five dozen students who participated in the graduation ceremony.

"This day holds a lot of meaning for me because, frankly, I've been dreaming of it for years. There have been days…when the thought of this day and all it symbolizes has been the only thing that got me through. Berea has been a wonderful place for me, challenging and comforting at the same time, and was in fact the first place I've really felt I had a place to which I belonged. I was a "difficult" Berea student in that I changed my major several times (I came to my present major sometime in my junior year) and I considered leaving or becoming a non-degree student on several occasions over the years…Graduating [is] especially important to me because [it] represent[s] patience and perseverance and triumph. I know that as my path takes me to many places far from Berea, I will always think of this place as home, and the people with whom I shared my time here as family." - Shoshana Gross

"I have learned that it is essential to understand what you believe and what is important to you. God has used my college experience to develop who I am. My happiest moment [was] when I realized that no grade and no individual defines who I am. I am responsible for who I am. [All] of my experiences have been extraordinary because Berea is an extraordinary college. From the requirement to work on campus to the requirement to take short term classes, everything has been unique. I am truly grateful for Berea." -C.S. Varney

"One thing I would tell first-year students is to just hang with it...it WILL get better!"-A.L. Timberlake

Senior Casey Poe (a former BCnow! reporter), who has lived in a dozen places as a BC student (including Poland, Austria, Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, Washington D.C., Europe, Spain, Germany, Ireland, and Costa Rica) says, "My primary obstacle, which has also been a blessing at the same time, is the number of times I have moved in the past four-and-a-half years. But, I love all of the myriad experiences and I owe much to the college for that."

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