All too frequently award ceremonies and graduation ceremonies are boring to everyone but the few award winners of the class and their families. All dental hygiene graduates deserved to be commended in a special way for their achievements and attributes. It has become a tradition at Tallahassee Community College in Florida to have a graduation banquet where every single student is recognized in a poem written especially for him or her.
Students are asked to fill out a questionnaire and indicate the personal information they would like the poem to contain. Faculty and student observations of each student are taken into consideration. Every student is given the opportunity to walk up on stage and receive their poem in a framed certificate after the poem has been read aloud to the audience. All of the parents are just beaming as their son or daughter is given special recognition. At the closing of the ceremony, the class poem is read and presented to every student.
When Dr. Esther Wilkins heard about the ceremony, she was very intrigued and readily accepted an invitation to attend the graduation ceremony for the class of 1997. She agreed to be the guest speaker for the occasion, and certainly did an extraordinary job providing the congratulatory message. She herself was honored with this poem written especially for her.