August 21, 2017

Ranger College graduates record 69 during August commencement

By Tommy Wells

Ranger College Public Information Officer/Sports Information Director

STEPHENVILLE – Katrina Kinnibrugh always knew she wanted to be a nurse and that nothing was going to stop her from reaching that goal.

Not marriage.

Not moving around as a military wife.

Not even two previous attempts at taking classes couldn’t dampen her resolve.

For her, there really wasn’t a back-up plan. There didn’t need to be one.

“I have always wanted to be a nurse. I always knew this day would come and I’m very excited about it,” the Brownwood resident said on Aug. 4 as she joined 56 others in receiving the Associates Degree in Nursing from Ranger College.

Katrina Kinnibrugh
Katrina Kinnibrugh

“This has always been my dream and I knew it would happen,” said Kinnibrugh. “I don’t want to stop here. I want to go on to be an RN and get my bachelor’s degree in nursing.”

The nursing degree didn’t come easy. After graduating from Brookesmith High School, she saw her initial attempts attaining a nursing degree end prematurely. Her husband, who was in the United States Army, was sent to new duty stations in North Carolina.

After her husband received his discharge from the Army, the couple returned to Brownwood. Kinnibrugh said she knew exactly what she wanted to do when they decided to return to Texas.

“I told him I wanted to come back to nursing school and he told me to go do it,” she said.

Stephenville Mayor Col. Kenny Weldon, USAF (Ret.) urged students to make a difference every day of their careers during his speech at the 2016 Ranger College commencement service on Aug. at the Cowboy Church of Erath County auditorium on Aug. 4. Weldon told the 69 nursing and cosmetology students they could make a big impact on people’s lives by simply making an small difference every day.
Stephenville Mayor Col. Kenny Weldon, USAF (Ret.) urged students to make a difference every day of their careers during his speech at the 2016 Ranger College commencement service on Aug. at the Cowboy Church of Erath County auditorium on Aug. 4. Weldon told the 69 nursing and cosmetology students they could make a big impact on people’s lives by simply making an small difference every day.

In all, a total of 69 students – including eight cosmetology and three general studies students – graduated during the Aug. 4 ceremony, which was held in front of a standing-room-only crowd in the Cowboy Church of Erath County. An estimated 1,200 people turned out to celebrate the students’ graduation.

“This was a dream come true,” said Ally Little, one of several nursing students who were recognized for their efforts during the ceremony. A native of Gorman, Little said her dream was to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a nurse.

“This is such a special day for me,” said Little, who was the first recipient of the Russell D. Holt Memorial Scholarship. “I honestly feel so blessed to be able to do this.”

Little was joined in the by several other Eastland County students earning their nursing degrees, including Summer Boyd of Ranger and Nichole Wilson of Rising Star.

Huckabay’s Saige Wells received her Associate’s Degree in Nursing diploma from Ranger College Board of Regents’ President Jackie Stephens during an Aug. 4 commencement exercise at the Cowboy Church of Erath County in Stephenville. A total of 69 students received their diplomas during the event. (Ranger College photo)
Huckabay’s Saige Wells received her Associate’s Degree in Nursing diploma from Ranger College Board of Regents’ President Jackie Stephens during an Aug. 4 commencement exercise at the Cowboy Church of Erath County in Stephenville. A total of 69 students received their diplomas during the event. (Ranger College photo)

During the ceremony, Ranger College Nursing Director Caroline Zapata praised the class for its efforts during a presentation, saying the group had earned the right to go before the Texas State Medical Board.

“Tonight you have accomplished your goals,” said Zapata. “We are proud of you and welcome you into the nursing profession as our colleague.”

Ranger College President Dr. William Campion congratulated each graduate and urged them to continue their education and to boldly march through the new doors their efforts had opened for them.

“This is very special because it marks the opening of new doors in our lives,” he said. “We at Ranger College recognize you for the milestone you have reached and wish you nothing but the best in the future.”

Ranger College is now accepting students for the new Fall semester at all of its nursing campuses. For more information about the nursing program contact Zapata at (254) 647-3234.

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