When Northwest Florida State College commences May 10, Richard and Karen Strong will receive their Bachelor of Applied Science degrees: Richard's for Public Safety; Karen's, for Human Resources.
The couple, who live near Holt, have been driving to the Niceville Campus for classes. Richard, a 29-year Air Force and National Guard veteran who already has numerous certificates and degrees, said he wanted one final degree to culminate his college education. In addition to her NWF State College studies, Karen is pursuing a BA in Art at the University of West Florida and is on track to graduate next fall.
“Art is my passion, especially painting with oils,” she said. “I had my AA degree and knew I would enjoy working toward another degree in something I love so much.”
The couple hasn’t formulated their post-graduation plans yet, but they do have a dream for the immediate future.
“We plan to buy an RV and do a lot of traveling,” Richard said. “We will be validating our lives from the seat of an RV.”
In the meantime, he wants to send a message to local students.
“If I could tell young people anything at all, it would be to get their education ... I would tell them to take high school seriously, not waste their time, and go hard after a college education," Richard said. "Their lives will be better for it.”
NWF State College will hold two commencement ceremonies on Saturday in the Raider Arena. The first ceremony begins at 10 a.m.; the second ceremony begins at 1 p.m.
WHEN: 10 a.m. for Associate of Arts and Florida High School Diploma; 1 p.m. for Certificate, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Science and Bachelor Degree Programs
WHERE: Raider Arena, Northwest Florida State College, Niceville