Paris Junior College celebrated the 96th spring Commencement with a modified in-person ceremony that included a Teaching Excellence Award. More than 250 students, including current graduates and those who had virtual graduation in 2020, participated in the graduation at Noyes Stadium on May 7, 2021.
“This has not been an easy year for anyone,” said PJC President Dr. Pam Anglin. “It has been a year where we have navigated our way through an environment we have not known in our lifetimes. We have worked together to make sure our campus was safe for employees and students. We have seen our students struggle through adversity to complete college classes. We have struggled at times with the situations we have faced. We have persevered.
“We celebrate the completion of another school year and the students who have been resilient and finished certificates or associate degrees during a pandemic. They are crossing the finish line after overcoming every obstacle that got in their way this past year. Thank you to all PJC faculty and staff for the work you have done to help these graduates cross that finish line.”
PJC announced Watchmaking Instructor Stan McMahan received the 2021 Teaching Excellence Award. The award includes a $1,000 honorarium, a medallion, and a plaque.
According to his nomination letter, McMahan exhibits an extraordinary passion for students, faculty, staff, and PJC. He inspires students as well as faculty members due to his upbeat personality and love of teaching. Despite wearing a face mask, those he meets can always tell that McMahan is smiling.
“He is constantly reading and researching new ways of improving his teaching style, engaging the students, and making the program the best possible,” said nominators. “He is willing to adapt to any changes necessary for the good of PJC; reaches out to any student that may need assistance with coursework or personal matters to ensure student retention is maintained; grades fairly and consistently with all students; and is always concerned with the welfare of everyone around him, not only students but faculty and staff as well.”
“We have been blessed in many ways tonight,” said Dr. Anglin as she closed the ceremony. “We have been able to have an in-person graduation ceremony. We have finished the year and kept people safe on campus. We can look forward to a new fall semester without the magnitude of challenges we faced this year. To the faculty and staff, thank you again for making this year the best we could make it under the circumstances.”
Graduate photos are on the PJC Facebook page at https://bit.ly/3ygA7RP. You can download a PDF of the graduate program at https://bit.ly/3ycJJND. The event was also live-streamed, and you can view it on the PJC YouTube channel at https://bit.ly/3bxnJDt.