With the clock ticking down to Florida Institute of Technology’s Spring 2015 Commencement ceremonies, Scotty Rushing took to Twitter to share his feelings.
“My excitement is starting to build,” he tweeted. “T-minus 10 days and counting!”
Rushing and his wife, Sharon, will make the nearly 900-mile drive from their home in rural Coushatta, Louisiana, to Florida Tech’s campus in Melbourne, where he will receive his Associate of Arts in Applied Psychology diploma on May 8.
Rushing enrolled in the 100% online degree program in early 2013 following a series of personal challenges, including the loss of his job and home, as well as a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
He graduated in fall 2014, but a family illness prevented him from attending commencement in December. At the May 8 ceremony, he will join graduates from more than 30 states and 60 nations, including nearly 290 who attended Florida Tech’s online programs.
“Receiving a college diploma and hanging it on the wall are great moments for any graduate,” Rushing wrote on his blog, “but the genuine value of any accomplishment is how you use it to inspire others.”
Commencement ceremonies will be held at the Charles and Ruth Clemente Center beginning at 9:30 a.m. for candidates for associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, followed at 2 p.m. by master’s and doctoral degree candidates.
Grads and their families are also invited to the Panther4Life Grad Bash from 5 to 8 p.m. May 7 on Crawford Green on campus. The Alumni Association-sponsored event will feature live music and free food and drinks.
Including campus-based, off-site and online students, Florida Tech will award a total of 1,270 degrees during 2015 Spring Commencement, which will be broadcast live online at www.fit.edu/graduation/.
For Rushing, his diploma will represent tangible proof that obstacles are there to be overcome and that a college education is a pathway to possibility. He already is working toward his bachelor’s degree and hopes eventually to attend grad school.
“Graduation is just a beginning and an opportunity to walk through new doors that reveal vistas of potential and opportunity,” he wrote.