Kent State East Liverpool Holds Commencement CeremonyPosted May. 11, 2011
On Friday May 6, more than 360 Kent State students graduated from the Kent State Columbiana County campuses. Included in this number at the East Liverpool campus ceremony were nursing graduates Abigail Ivan and her mother, Suzanne Birtalan. Ivan said attending classes with her parent wasn’t always easy, but well worth it in the end.“Going to school with your mother isn't necessarily the easiest thing in the world to do. It can be frustrating and competitive at times,” Ivan said. “We had moments in the last three years that we didn't even want to speak to each other, let alone sit down and study together. In the end, however, it has been such a blessing to go through nursing school with someone who truly understands.” Ivan is thankful her mother stuck with her through thick and thin and provided continuous support and encouragement. “My mom has put up with me at my worst and still pushed me to be my best throughout this journey,” she said. “I am very proud of what she has accomplished, and I look forward to sharing a profession with her in the coming years.”
Ivan and Birtalan attended the Kent State East Liverpool graduation ceremony where the commencement address was given by Randy Calhoun, director of Buckeye Online School for Success (BOSS). The former Kent State student said he saw his life in three stages and urged these graduates to “learn, earn and return.”
Calhoun spoke of the student’s responsibility to continue learning, continue earning, and most importantly to continue returning to friends, family and community. “You don’t have to give money,” he said. “It can be your time and your talents.”
Calhoun recounted a story from boyhood, during his daily paper route, an elderly neighbor mistakenly gave him a silver dollar in lieu of a fifty cent piece. For his honesty, the neighbor said he could keep the coin. To this day, Calhoun said he keeps it in his pocket as a reminder to do something nice for someone daily. To help the students remember to do the same, Calhoun presented a silver dollar to each graduate.