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‘Keep dreaming … don’t fear failure’
Keynote speaker praises Ogeechee Tech’s 2019 graduating class
otc graduation
Leslie Dasher of Glennville waves to family and friends during Ogeechee Technical College's 2019 Spring Commencement ceremony at Hanner Fieldhouse Thursday. Dasher earned a diploma in cosmetology.

Ogeechee Technical College graduate Jarvis R. Jordan said “dreaming” has helped him gain success in his career and pushed Ogeechee Tech to continuing growing its mission as a great institution of learning.

Jordan was the keynote speaker during Thursday’s spring graduation ceremonies for Ogeechee Tech at Georgia Southern University’s Hanner Fieldhouse, featured Ogeechee Technical College.

Jordan told the students that some 20 years ago, he had walked the very same halls and classrooms as the students.

“Of course, some of the additions came after I departed,” Jordan said. “And that’s because Ogeechee Tech kept dreaming.”

Jordan told the students that following his Radiologic Technologist Program at OTC, he kept dreaming, traveling the country, expanding his knowledge and experience, and later achieving a Bachelor of Science from the University of Saint Francis in Joliet, Illinois.

“You’ve reached your goals and dreams of completing your respective programs of study, but I say to you, keep dreaming. Dream even bigger. Know this, dreams without goals are just dreams. The journey starts here, on this day.”

Jordan encouraged the students to develop a plan, and then develop a bigger plan.

“Seek greatness. Keep yourself in a state of readiness. Individuals don’t become successful by accident. Success is purposeful.”

Jordan assured those who would move tassels before the evening was over that success would come. But he also reminded them that there would be failures, too.

“Don’t be afraid of failure. Failure is the road map to success. Mistakes and failures are where we learn and become stronger.

“If you’re going to fail, fail big. We all want success, and we all want to be stronger, so fail big.”

The 2000 OTC graduate encouraged students to think of others after graduation, as well.

“Don’t just aspire to make a living when you leave, aspire to make a difference. Reach back and pull someone up. As you obtain success and conquer many obstacles, give something back.

“Hard work works. It pays off, and that’s the reason you’re sitting in those chairs.

“So, graduating class of 2019, as you move on from the hallowed halls of Ogeechee Technical College to the next chapter of your life and career, dream, give thanks, and put God first.”

The inspiring OTC graduate who’s enjoyed a successful career with GE Healthcare for more than 14 years has received multiple awards and accolade in his professional career at GE, including the 2015 President’s Award, 2006 Clinician of the Year and 2009 Landsteiner Award.

OTC President Lori S. Durden welcomed the 340 graduating students and had their parents, spouses and children stand to be recognized. A total of 1,000 students graduated from OTC this year.

“My favorite day of the academic year culminates with this graduation night and represents the tenacity and perseverance of the graduates that sit before me,” Durden said. “You have accepted the challenge of learning something new and you should be rewarded.”

President Durden assured the students that the knowledge and skills they’d gained at OTC were rewards that would take them far in their future careers and were rewards that could never be taken away from them.

Keith Ward earned his Associate of Applied Science Funeral Service Education at OTC. The 52-year-old graduate said it was never too late to go back to school and pointed out that this was his third degree. Ward has an undergraduate degree from Albany State University and a Masters Degree from the University of Phoenix.

“My family owns a funeral home in Shellman, and I wanted to get the degree to work the family business,” Ward said. “Ogeechee Tech is a great technical college to get a degree.”

Angela Walker, from Claxton, earned a Business Management Diploma and has been working since December as a District Manager for Acosta Sales. She said she works with 13 Walmart stores and is responsible for seven representatives.

“Every class I took prepared me for where I am today,” said Walker. “My education at OTC was spot-on.”

Walker, 53,said she has no plans to stop her education just yet and begins her Associates Degree this summer at OTC.

Walker said education at Ogeechee Tech is a family affair.

“My husband is in the Rad Tech program, and my daughter is dual-enrolled. And my son was dual-enrolled when I first started, making all four of us in school at OTC at the same time.

“Each one of us motivated the other. We encouraged each other. We love OTC.”

Walker said all three should walk in the Spring 2020 commencement.

Kathryn Duncan, 26, received her Practical Nursing Diploma and looks forward to working in a doctor’s office.

Dual-enrolled student Chauncey Henderson actually received her Nurses Aid Certificate at Ogeechee Technical College before she received her high school diploma. She graduates from Statesboro High School on May 24.

“I’m continuing at OTC to become an LPN,” said Henderson. “I definitely feel prepared to move forward with my next degree.”  

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