and tears filled Riley’s Conference Center during a Dec. 12 combined post-wide graduation
total of 179 graduates were awarded
degrees, ranging from associate to
10 different colleges and universities
were represented in the student
demographics could be found
among the students as well. Some
were the dependents of active-duty Soldiers stationed at Fort Riley, recently out of high
school, while others were parents
and adults with
jobs. Some had continued on
a long marathon of college education, and others had returned after a long hiatus.
military spouse had a word of
encouragement for young mothers hoping
to earn a college degree.
all the young moms who were looked
down on and thought that their lives
were done, just know that you can still walk with a degree if you keep your head up,” said Liu
family flew in from California and
Hawaii to watch her graduate. She
also was excited that her recently redeployed husband could be present for the big event.
Christopher Ghika, 1st Infantry Division
deputy commanding general for
readiness, delivered the commencement address, expressing to the students that they should feel proud, but
also grateful to their family and
friends who helped them achieve
graduate was attending his
very first graduation ceremony,
despite it being for his
never actually been to
any of my graduation ceremonies
before, not even
school, so this is very exciting,”
said Brian Oliveras, Manhattan.
received his master’s degree
in teaching from
College. He previously earned his
bachelor’s degree in political
science about 10 years ago
from Kansas State University.
then, he began
and has taught overseas in
Thailand. He now
ninth-grade English at
Wamego High School, Wamego,
been a long, rough journey
with kids and a fulltime job,
but I finally did it,” Oliveras
said. “I’m absolutely thrilled.
This is a monumental event
after receiving his degree
and being congratulated by
his active-duty father. The
graduate’s girlfriend and 3-month-old
daughter also were in attendance.
good to get the degree. It’s
been a long hard
lot of emotions going on,”
said William Flenniken, Junction
said he was motivated to go
to college to better himself and
plans on transferring to K-State to pursue a pre-law degree.
“It’s an honor to graduate alongside Soldiers,”