The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) is readying to celebrate 522 candidates for 546 associate degrees and 244 certificates during its 60th spring commencements to be held May 17 at the La Plata Campus.
The student speaker at the 10 a.m. ceremony also carries the title of youngest of the entire graduating class. Phillip Means, 17, of Owings, will receive an associate degree in applied science and technology as a dual enrollment student. With many of his college classes counting toward his high school credits, he is receiving his high school diploma this year, too.
Veteran Navy Commander Jeff Foster, of La Plata, earns the bragging rights for the title of oldest graduate as he crosses the stage to receive his certificate for massage therapy. The certificate was the latest academic achievement for the 74-year-old who received his first bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary in 1967. His second four-year degree came when he completed the physical and academic rigors that came with Officer Candidate School when he enlisted immediately after college. Foster plans to continue his studies at CSM and pursue his associate of applied science degree in massage therapy.
Sandra Husband, of Waldorf, will receive her associate degree in cybersecurity and will take the stage to address her fellow classmates in celebration of their accomplishments during the afternoon commencement. The vice president of the college’s Student Veterans Organization, Husband served in the U.S. Army for 28 years and came to CSM to build her new career.
Of the students receiving awards at the ceremonies 38 percent of the students receiving awards are from Charles County, 33 percent are from St. Mary’s County, 23 percent are from Calvert County and 6 percent live outside of the region. Associate degrees will be awarded predominantly in the fields of general studies, arts and sciences, nursing and business administration. General Studies: transfer; accounting: advanced and basic; and cybersecurity were the predominant certificates. Of the graduates, 63 percent are female and 37 percent are males.
CSM will break from tradition and hold two ceremonies at this year’s spring commencement. The 10 a.m. ceremony will honor students receiving certificates, associate of arts degrees and associate of arts in teaching degrees. The 3 p.m. commencement will honor students receiving associate of science degrees, associate of applied science degrees, associate of science in engineering degrees and workforce development certificates.
CSM Professor of English, Communication, and Languages Dr. Richard Siciliano, who has earned the distinction of working at the college for 50 years– longer than anyone in the college’s history – will provide the keynote address at both ceremonies.