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Saipan Tribune: 4 NMC Students obtain perfect GPA's (May 22, 2017)

Of the record-breaking 208 students that graduated from the Northern Marianas College last Saturday, a total of four were able to achieve a grade point average of 4.0, the highest rating a student may achieve. That automatically gave them summa cum laude honors during last Saturday NMC commencement rites at the Koblerville Gym.

One of four, Wei Wei, a graduate with an associate degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Accounting, thanked NMC and her many friends for making her feel like she belonged on Saipan.

That was distinctly different compared to how Wei felt when she first arrived on the island nine years ago. “Everything to me was unfamiliar and I didn’t have any family, friends nor relationships on Saipan [at the time],” she said.

“We always meet people or [encounter problems] that try to make life tougher, but a tough life only teaches people how to be strong and never give up. The road to success won’t be easy, but we won’t stop. Today’s graduation is not the end. It is also the start,” said Wei in her speech.

The other three summa cum laude honorees are Romana Tefania T. Chong, Leon Liang Lizama II, and Xu Jiabao.

The keynote speaker, Kagman High School teacher Gerard Van Gils, challenged the new graduates to help solve the many problems currently facing the CNMI.

“You are the solution. Armed with your education, you stand ready to serve and improve our islands,” said Van Gils. “We’ve been waiting for your graduation. Today you should rightly celebrate, but tomorrow we have work to do.”

A CNMI Teacher of the Year, Van Gils specifically cited the graduates with education degrees.

“Being a teacher is a great and noble profession. I congratulate you on completing your education. In August, I will be back in my classroom, once again scraping gum off desks. I can’t wait to welcome you as my peers to the greatest job in the world,” he said.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, who was also present at the 37th NMC commencement exercises, also sought to inspire the new graduates.

“Each one of you can make a difference wherever you’re at. I ask all of you, as you walk down the aisle holding your diplomas—hold it with pride and make those differences,” he said.

In an earlier interview, NMC president Dr. Carmen Fernandez expressed how proud she was of all the graduates “who will be joining thousands of other NMC alumni who are business executives, government leaders, community advocates, and other professionals who are making a positive difference.”

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