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Gainesville State College students sign pledge to complete their degrees
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Gainesville State College student Flower Pippin adds her signature to the Commit to Complete banner in the Gainesville State College student center. The Community College Completion Corps spearheaded the project in which students pledge their allegiance to finish their college degree by signing the banner.

Although there are a multitude of reasons some students don’t finish their higher education, Phi Theta Kappa members at Gainesville State College implemented a project Monday in hopes of encouraging classmates to complete their degrees.

The college’s Phi Theta Kappa Rho Mu chapter, in conjunction with the Community College Completion Corps, invited students to sign a banner in the school’s student center pledging to finish their associate’s degrees and certificates.

While faculty and staff also had the opportunity to sign, more than 125 students committed to the pledge during the one-day event, according to Tonya Richardson, chapter secretary. Those who signed were also entered into a raffle for prizes.

And now that the ink has dried, the students who signed have a degree to live up to.

“The best thing about signing the banner is that it helps to hold Phi Theta Kappa members accountable to reach their goal to get a degree,” said Richardson.

But Monday’s signing was more than just putting a pen to paper. For some students, it was a commitment to hope for their futures.

“Today’s event represents more than just a college pledge; it represents hope, perseverance, and belief,” said Patricia Loyola-Elliot, a Phi Theta Kappa member. “We must believe in ourselves and others to bring hope to those who will persevere with passion and determination for their future.”

Along with the banner signing, students celebrated the birthday of Phi Theta Kappa at Gainesville State College when it started as an honor society for the two-year school in 1968. The school now inducts more than 50 new members in a ceremony held each semester for eligible students who have been invited to join the chapter.

While the honor society also places an emphasis on community service projects, completing at least one each semester, the students who comprise the chapter hope to help increase the number of students who finish their degrees by sponsoring and funding events, such as the banner signing, on a regular basis.

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