Connors State College celebrated the graduation of 31 new nurses in a pinning and candle lighting ceremony held May 5, 2017, in the Fine Arts Auditorium on the Warner Campus. Graduates were pinned by a faculty, staff, family member or friend of their choice, and provided with a Bible courtesy of the Gideon’s International Auxiliary.
“The ceremony signifies the student’s official initiation into the brotherhood and sisterhood of nurses,” said Joyce Johnson, Division Chair for Nursing & Allied Health. “The ceremony is rich with symbolism. It is the right of passage which can be traced all the way back to the twelfth century.”
The modern ceremony dates back to the 1860’s, when Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in recognition for her diligent service to the injured during the Crimean War. To share the honor, she in turn presented a medal of excellence to her brightest graduated. By 1916, the practice of pinning new graduates was standard throughout the United States, and Connors follows this practice.
Johnson began the ceremony by welcoming the audience, made of dedicated family, staff members, and peers of the nursing graduates. Followed by a memorial resolution in the memory of June Cope, given to her family by Connors State College President Dr. Ron Ramming.
John Baker gave the invocation, while student speakers Whitney Ousley and Amanda Elfezzazi gave prepared remarks about the classes’ journey together, followed by the benediction from Alta Hayes.
Spring 2017 Nursing Graduates: John Baker, Amy Campbell, Lee M. Coleman, Amanda Elfezzazi, Kelsey Griffith, Alta Hayes, Adam Hine, Francis Ray Hofschulte, Amanda Hopkins, Tabitha Kidd, Kendra R. Leigh, Veronica Lleverino, Mikaela McGrew, Ariel D. McIntosh, Brittany Mazey, Luis Navarro, Heather Whitney Ousley, Amanda Pack, Lorrie Patty, Amanda Resecker, Melanie Risenhoover, Kay Rogers, Star Sapulpa, Gwen Smith, Sandra Staton, Petra Martinez Tapia, De Anna Thomas, Makala Tillery, Chloie Ward, Shelby C. Winters, Nicole Workman.