Phi Theta Kappa Leaders Serve as Commencement Speakers in Three States

Phi Theta Kappa’s President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner and two former International Officers gave commencement speeches this year at community colleges in Kansas, Nebraska and Texas. 

Tincher-Ladner addressed the graduates of Butler Community College in Kansas on May 14. The event marked Butler’s 89th commencement ceremony and Tincher-Ladner’s first commencement address.

“It was such an honor to have Dr. Tincher-Ladner offer her very first commencement address at Butler Community College,” said college president Dr. Kim Krull. “She validated the hard work of our graduates and as she closed she reminded our graduates to always remember they got their start at Butler.

“She reinforced our mission and the work we do and love each day in transforming, inspiring and empowering our students.”

Tincher-Ladner congratulated the graduates on completing a total of 50,000 credits and saving $8.6 million in tuition with Butler’s tuition rates compared to the median tuition of all public universities.

“Completing college isn’t easy, and it doesn’t happen by accident,” she told the graduates. “All of you are here today because you made a choice to put in the work, persist and balance all the demands of your life.”  

Yanik Etan, Phi Theta Kappa’s 2015-2016 International President, spoke at Northeast Community College’s 43rd Commencement Ceremony on May 14 in Nebraska. A record 924 students graduated from Northeast this year.

Etan shared the importance of seizing opportunity and embracing failure, citing the challenges he had faced toward pursuing a higher education. He added that choosing a community college and becoming a member of Phi Theta Kappa changed his life.

“Phi Theta Kappa surrounded me with a support group of people who truly want to see me succeed,” Etan said. “They have pushed me to reach outside my comfort zone to be the best version of myself possible.”

Etan will attend the University of Mississippi this fall on a Phi Theta Kappa scholarship.

Elizabeth Taylor, 2015-2016 Vice President for Division II of Phi Theta Kappa, presented the commencement speech at her alma mater, Grayson County College, in Texas during the college’s December graduation ceremony.

Taylor was the recipient of the 2016 David R. Pierce Scholarship of $1,000 for completion of an associate degree. She also earned a $5,000 scholarship as a member of the All-USA Community College Academic Team and a $2,000 scholarship as Texas’ New Century Scholar.

She hopes to eventually earn a bachelor’s degree in social work and a Ph.D. in nursing, specializing in oncology and patient advocacy.

“Knowing that someone believed in me and invested in my future pushed me to overcome obstacles along the way,” Taylor said. “I now feel confident in my leadership skills, and I am able to use my leadership positions to empower others.”

Read more about the Butler Community College and Northeast Community College commencements online.

Phi Theta Kappa is the oldest, largest and most prestigious honor society recognizing students pursuing two-year degrees. Phi Theta Kappa is made up of more than 3 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in nine nations.

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