EFSC Hits Milestone with 1,000th Bachelor Degree Graduate

May 9, 2019 – Eastern Florida State College reached a milestone in its history Thursday
when the 1,000th Bachelor Degree graduate received their diploma at Spring Commencement.

In all, 164 students celebrated earning their four-year degrees during two ceremonies
at the King Center for the Performing Arts on the Melbourne campus.



Derick Pierre in green robe


Derick Pierre of Palm Bay, the 1000th Bachelor’s Degree graduate since the programs
begain in 2013, is looking for a job in the software development field after earning
his Computer Information Systems Technology degree.

That brings the total number of Bachelor Degree graduates to 1,112 since the college
began its first two baccalaureate tracks in 2013.

Today, EFSC offers 21 Bachelor specializations in Business, Health Care and Computer
Technology with more in development.

The student recognized at the noon ceremony as the 1,000th graduate was Derick Pierre
of Palm Bay who earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems
Technology – Program/Software Development Specialization.

“I am really excited to be here. At one point I did not think I was going to graduate
and to graduate with honors and be No. 1,000, I am really excited,” said Pierre, who
received the Harmon Strieter STEM Scholarship from the EFSC Foundation while attending

“It means a lot to me, my parents and all the people who put the effort and work into
making sure I got to this position. It is special to have something like this to honor
those who have worked to get their degree.”

Another member of the record-setting class is Kelley Lyn Paton, who celebrated her
Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Management – Human Resource Management
specialization at the 3 p.m. ceremony, a degree she earned while working as the HR
manager at Sun Plumbing.

“My son Tyler is dual enrolled so I went back to school with him and we are both graduating
today,” said Patton, who graduated with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. “You have
no idea what it means to me to have this degree offered. I am currently working in
HR, but with this degree I am able to do my job better and also have more opportunities
in the future. It just gives me so much more confidence and knowledge in my job.”

The Bachelor programs have been a top priority of college President Dr. Jim Richey,
who started them shortly after he became EFSC’s leader in 2012.

They are very popular, especially among working adults advancing their careers, with
nearly 2,200 bachelor’s students enrolled in the Spring Term that just ended.

male and female graduates in green and blue robesMany bachelor-level courses and 11 Bachelor Degree tracks are available completely

“Today’s milestone is an incredible day for everyone at the college whose hard work
has brought new opportunities to our students and community,” said Richey.

“The chance to earn a Bachelor Degree did not exist at our college before, which has
made our programs a game-changer for students and local businesses that need their

“Students can tailor their classes with online or on-campus options, or a mix of both,
and there are excellent job prospects for graduates. We’re thrilled how students have
embraced the programs, and even more are on the way.”

More than 1,900 students were eligible to receive their diplomas Thursday at the bachelor,
associate and certificate levels, joining more than 100,000 others who have graduated
from the college since it opened in 1960.

Both Commencement ceremonies were televised live on WEFS-TV and streamed online. Replays
can be viewed on the College’s YouTube channel at bit.ly/efscwatch.

Graduates, family and friends are encouraged to post their photos and videos from
the day on social media using the hashtag #EFSCgrad.

To learn more about EFSC’s Bachelor Degree programs, visit easternflorida.edu/go/bachelor

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