College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Institute of Applied Agriculture

IAA Graduation 2014

Author: 
Nina LaTassa
Image Credit: 
Meredith Epstein

 On Thursday, May 22, a dozen proud IAA students celebrated! After semesters of laboring long hours in labs, classrooms, gardens, and on the golf course, the Jull Hall crew received diplomas in honor of their graduation from the two-year program.  Proud new IAA alumni included Kelsie Birney, Stephen Brew, Geoffrey Brittingham, Tyler Brunk, Jonathan Foy, Aaron Frock, Brian Knott, Allison Miller, Matthew Park, Adam Rice, Julia Thome, and Brent Waite.

Before the commencement ceremony, which was held in the Reckord Armory, students enjoyed a pre-graduation buffet lunch at the University Golf Course Club House. IAA Oral Communication lecturer Ed Priola served as the Master of Ceremonies, coordinating the details of the festive affair, while IAA Director Glori Hyman, Associate Dean Leon Slaughter, and IAA Alumnus Michael Larsen spoke on behalf of the institute. Hyman brought smiles to the audience members’ faces as she referenced popular children’s stories in her opening and closing remarks, proving to the graduates that the life lessons learned in those books never become outdated. Hyman left the students with practical advice to succeed in the working world and in relationships, urging them to always say thank you, to be kind, be patient, and continue to grow.

Larsen, Class of 1971, received the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award for his 41 years of service to the golf turf industry and his commitment to providing internships and job opportunities to IAA students during his four-decade career.

Adding to the rhetoric were graduate speakers Allison Miller, Julia Thome, and Brent Waite, who shared fond memories of their favorite instructors and experiences at the IAA. Though each student had something different to say, they all shared a common refrain, revisiting constantly the fact that each IAA faculty member dedicated countless hours of time toward helping his students succeed in the classroom and in the workplace.

“They were always there for us, mentoring us and giving us advice,” said Julia Thome, an ornamental horticulture major whose passion lies in working in public gardens. “The IAA is like a family. We all know each other and feel like we’re in it together!”

And, together, the class of 2014 donated a tree to the IAA to be planted this fall on the College Park campus, becoming part of the university’s arboretum and the Woodies identification list (for future IAA students)!

Watch Tony's Tute Talk with the graduates.  See more photos on the IAA Facebook Page.

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2019. Web Accessibility