Fort Wayne, IN. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- More graduates crossed the stage at Friday evening's Ivy Tech graduation ceremony than ever before.
One by one, the names of 1,161 graduates were read as each eagerly accepted their diplomas. Ivy Tech's 42nd annual graduation ceremony included associate of science, arts, and applied science degrees. Certificates and awards were also handed out.
Melvin L. Curtis Award for Academic Excellence recipients included Bridgette Deyo, Teresa Johnson, Pakao Mon, Brenda Perkey, Matthew Swick, Bill Swygart, and Zoheth Torres.
Don Wood, the president, CEO, and founder of 80/20 Inc., was also given an Honorary Associate Degree.
Rose Boneff, assistant professor of respiratory care, received the 2012 President's Award for Excellence in Instruction.
Nicole Procise, instructor in the Medical Assisting program, was given the 2012 Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction.
The topic of conversation among graduates Friday frequently turned to the job market. While most graduates are optimistic about their prospects now that they have a degree on their resume, others are still concerned that they won't be able to find work in their chosen career field.
That wasn't the only point of conversation at the ceremony. Graduates are also reflecting on the mounting pressure being put on Congress to keep down interest rates on federal Stafford loans, which could double without legislative intervention.
Congress is set to vote on the loan issue Tuesday.
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