Barton Community College honors Outstanding Graduates at commencement

Story by Micah Oelze
Photos by Brandon Steinert

Corrigan Bartlett of Maize and Ezekiel Charles of Brooklyn, New York were named Barton Community College’s 2017 Outstanding Graduates.  Dean of Student Services Angie Maddy introduced them and presented their awards, after which they took the opportunity to address their fellow graduates during the college’s 47th commencement ceremony Friday.

Corrigan Bartlett is the son of Zona and Todd Bartlett.  During his Barton career, he has competed as part of the Cougar baseball team and has also participated in Community Student Organization and Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. Corrigan will continue both his academic and his baseball career next fall at St. Louis University in Missouri. Following receipt of his bachelor’s degree, Corrigan plans to attend dental school and eventually own a dental practice.

Bartlett told a story from his freshman year when he threw his baseball helmet after a poor play in a scrimmage and the deserved ripping her received from the coach. After that moment he began to shift his focus to a more positive look on life. After his story, Bartlett left the graduates with a perspective on adversity.

“So, as we all part ways remember when adversity rears its ugly head, to persevere and focus on the outcome you want to achieve,” he said. “For we all are great if we decide to focus on the good in people’s hearts and love one another as if we are family. Remember these years for the positive times and all lessons learned as a Barton Cougar.”

Ezekiel Charles is the son of Cheryl and Joseph Charles.  While attending Barton, he competed as part of the Cougar men’s basketball team and has participated in Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society in addition to working with his basketball teammates on various community service projects.  Ezekiel will continue both his academic and his basketball career at the University of New Orleans, majoring in psychology.  Ezekiel’s long term plans include playing professional basketball and later working as a school psychologist.    

Charles’ speech was full of gratitude as he thanked his classmates.

“Thank you for the love and support. I created special bonds with many of you and I can really call you my brothers and sisters,” he said. “I can honestly say I never met a community so nice and willing to help like Great Bend. I loved my time here.”

Outstanding Graduate Ezekiel Charles addresses the audience Friday during Barton’s 47th commencement ceremony.
Outstanding Graduate Ezekiel Charles addresses the audience Friday during Barton’s 47th commencement ceremony.