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Graduation at The College of William & Mary marks an AUP "first"

posted May 25, 2012, 7:27 AM by Andrew Welch   [ updated May 25, 2012, 7:31 AM ]
Article and photos by Mr. Jonathan Roth, W&M Detachment public affairs officer.
USCG AUP William and Mary class of 2012
Saturday May 12, 2012 marked an important milestone for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary University Programs (AUP) Unit at the College of William & Mary in historic Williamsburg, VA. On the night before receiving their college diplomas from the historic and distinguished university in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, five W&M seniors graduated from Auxiliary University Programs in an on-campus ceremony. Two of the students -- Nick Zaremba and Devin Hernandez, became the first students ever, anywhere in the nation, to graduate from the full four-year AUP program of study.

Pictured Above: AUP William and Mary class of 2012 graduates Chris Persels, Evren Kassumzade, Drew Domitrovitz, and Devin Hernandez with Andrew Welch (far left), Auxiliary University Programs deputy and Don Mason (far right), Unit Officer at The College of William and Mary.

Semper Paratus cake - The College of William and Mary
Zaremba and Hernandez were both enrolled in the program in 2008, focusing on Operations and Environmental Protection respectively. Also graduated were Chris Persels, Drew Domitrovits, and the outgoing cadet leader Evren Kassumzade. 

Pictured Left: Semper Paratus, Always Ready, graduation cake at the reception following 2012 graduation at The College of William and Mary.

Among the honored guests were Commander Steven D. Whitehead (Director of Auxiliary 5th District), Mr. Andrew Welch (Deputy, Auxiliary University Programs from Coast Guard Headquarters), and Mr. Richard T. Egnor (Commander, Flotilla Williamsburg, VA).  Mr. Donald S. Mason (W&M Unit Officer) offered words of encouragement and thanks to the graduates to whom his service as leadership and management instructor has been so professionally and personally important.

USCG AUP at The College of William and Mary, graduation 2012
Pictured Right: AUP graduation at The College of William and Mary was well attended by students, graduates, families, staff, and instructors on May 12, 2012. 

Each offered their well-wishes and words of wisdom to the graduates. Additionally, Mr. Christopher Papas, a rising sophomore, officially relieved Mr. Kassumzade as cadet leader. Mr. Papas and the remaining undergraduates hope to continue the trend of excellence established by their five departing shipmates, upperclassmen, and mentors in the coming year. Although, for some, their future careers are still unknown, the graduates’ skills in leadership, organization, teamwork, seamanship, and environmental protection are sure to guide these young leaders in service into continued service for their country and community.