Richard Bland College graduates largest class in school's history

Richard Bland College graduates largest class in school's history

PRINCE GEORGE, VA (WWBT) - Smiles, tears, and reflections on what the future may hold were all things featured at Richard Bland College of William & Mary Saturday as the two-year college graduated its largest class in history.

According to the institution, more than 260 students earned their Associate's Degree in the school's 53rd Commencement Ceremony. Among them, nearly 50 Honors Society and Honors Program students graduated with GPAs of 3.5 or above.

"Richard Bland College is deeply committed to the success of every student we admit, so it's gratifying to see the number of graduates continue to rise," said President Debbie Sydow.

Sydow credits the continued increase in graduates to RBC new initiative called the "Exceptional School Experience," which is designed to provide wrap-around support and keep students on track to graduation.

"Thanks to outstanding faculty and staff, 2016 graduates are well-prepared to continue their journey at William & Mary or another university partner, having received a solid liberal arts foundation at RBC," Sydow continued.

Former Secretary of the Commonwealth and candidate for Richmond mayor Levar Stoney delivered the keynote address at Richard Bland College, where he encouraged students to "Remember who you were when you entered and who you've become while here and go out and make an impact in people's lives."

Giving remarks on behalf of RBC's Class of 2016 was Amanda Archer of Amelia.

"I stand before you today as a first generation college graduate. Choosing a college that best fit my small town personality was difficult but once I discovered Richard Bland College I knew it would be home" said Archer.

The university said they are in the midst of preparing for another large freshman class this fall, as applications are up over 65 percent.

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