LECOM commencement at a glance
Speakers: Robert George, associate dean of academic affairs; Michael Visnosky, chairman of the LECOM Board; and Dr. Hershey Bell.
Shining moment: By far the loudest applause was for Cathy Luc, 27, who graduated from the School of Pharmacy. "My parents came to America from Haiti with $20 in the 1970s," said Luc, who needed 17 tickets for her family, which now includes her husband, Kenneth Stevens, and 3-week old baby, Caleb. "My brother, Jeff, just graduated from the University of Cincinnati where he studied criminal justice and played football. Another brother, Alex, is at Florida State. Our oldest brother is a family man in Port St. Lucie." Luc was an honors student at Central High School in Fort Pierce who worked her way through medical school at the CVS Pharmacy at Creekwood at State Road 70 and Interstate 75. Luc has signed a contract to work at a CVS Pharmacy in Brandon.
Best quote: "When you walk up to get your diploma, walk with the dignity of a doctor." -- From LECOM staff notes to graduates.
Interesting sight: Michael Renda, 26, a Sarasota-Riverview High School graduate, straightened his cap and gown and smiled. "It was a lot of hard work but it was worth it," Renda said of his LECOM experience, for which he sacrificed plenty. "I lived back home with my parents and traveled a lot doing rotations at hospitals," he said. Renda said most medical school students will graduate with $200,000 in debt as he did. The good news is he has a job as a general surgery resident for the Kennedy Health group in New Jersey.