Dec. 14, 2007
More than 720 students from HACC's regional campuses in Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York will receive associate degrees during winter commencement at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17.

Kim Bradford of McSherrystown will speak on behalf of the graduating class at the ceremony in Cooper Student Center on the Harrisburg Campus, One HACC Drive.

Bradford, who will receive a degree in psychology, "was selected because of her ability to deliver a celebration speech which recognizes her accomplishments as well as her classmates' perseverance in achieving their goals," said Speech Instructor Lisa Hill who conducted auditions at the Gettysburg Campus.

Bradford is a member of the psychology club, a student ambassador and has been a senator, vice president and now president of the Gettysburg Campus student government. She credits a woman she knew growing up who set an impressive example.

"I remember a friend of my mom's who, to me, was an accomplished medical doctor and still managed being an involved mom," said Bradford. "She exceeded at both and that had an impact on me."

Bradford hopes to share her success and gratitude with her classmates with her speech at commencement.

"I think many of the graduates will be able to relate to the sense of accomplishment that comes with hard work," she said. "Many of us found a great source of support through the faculty and staff at HACC and have a great amount of appreciation toward the people in our lives who are close to us."

Bradford will transfer to Shippensburg University, studying for her bachelor's and master's degrees and plans to finish her doctorate at Johns Hopkins University.

Also taking a special place on the podium is commencement speaker Ronald I. Buxton, a 1971 HACC graduate and 2007 recipient of the Circle of Distinction award from the HACC Alumni Association in recognition of his contributions to HACC and the community.

Buxton, a Democrat, has represented the 103rd District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives since 1993. His district includes Harrisburg, the boroughs of Steelton and Highspire and parts of Swatara Township."HACC helped prepare me for a life of public service," Buxton said during his acceptance of the Circle of Distinction award. "My political studies, together with the expansion of personal acquaintances, influenced my career path."

Buxton is chairman of the Ethics Committee, telecommunications subcommittee chairman on the Consumer Affairs Committee, travel promotion subcommittee chairman on the Tourism and Recreational Development Committee, and sits on the Legislative, Insurance, Labor Relations and Intergovernmental Affairs committees.

He received the Legislative Service Award from the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities in 1998 and the Friends of Education Award from the southern region of the Pennsylvania State Education Association in 2001. In addition, Buxton was honored for his commitment and support of the fair housing for the citizens of Central Pennsylvania by the Fair Housing Council of the Capital Region. Most recently, Buxton earned the Dauphin County Library System 2006 Impact Award.

The winter graduates "join more than 35,000 distinguished alumni of HACC - graduates who continue to bring honor to the college as they make significant contributions to our communities," said President Edna V. Baehre, Ph.D., who will confer the degrees, certificates and diplomas. She will be assisted by Charles R. Peguese, M.A., and Thomas B. Richey, members of the HACC Board of Trustees.

The majority of students who graduate Monday will find employment in their field of study within six months or may already have a job. Approximately 85 percent of HACC graduates continue to reside within a 20-mile radius of the HACC campus they attended.

HACC graduates receiving associate degrees, certificates or diplomas by regional campus:
Gettysburg: 68
Harrisburg: 423
Lancaster: 188
Lebanon: 36
York: 14

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