Connors State College celebrated the graduation of 21 new nurses in a pinning and candle lighting ceremony held May 11, 2018, 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 and a pink rose courtesy of Saint Francis Health Systems.
“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 supportive family, friends, faculty, staff, and administrators. Retiring Administrative Secretary for the Nursing Division, Sherry Todd was recognized for her 22 years of service to Connors. Stephanie Cook gave the invocation, while student speakers Chris Bodfish and Lindsay Wallace gave prepared remarks about the classes’ journey together, followed by the benediction by Bodfish.