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29 graduate during TIJT ceremonies Thursday

Published or Revised May 08, 2008

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The Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology, a division of Paris Junior College, held spring graduation Thursday in the Ray Karrer Theater for students completing jewelry technology, gemology and computer-aided jewelry design programs.

Division Chair Ulla Raus introduced Paris Junior College President Dr. Pamela Anglin; David McAnally, Dean of Workforce Education; the guest speaker; members of the advisory board in attendance; and TIJT faculty and staff members.

Randy Rader, co-owner of Gene the Jeweler and Bridal, addressed those attending. The business was established in 1958, and Rader has been in the jewelry business for 30 years.

Rader paid tribute W.M. House, a longtime local jeweler, and to his father, Gene Rader, for their lifetime involvement in the industry. Randy said when he graduated from high school in 1978 and came into the business, his father said, “I’m leaving and I’ll be back in 30 minutes.” “Thirty years later we are still waiting on him to come back,” joked Randy.

Randy’s mother works with him and has for the life of the business. Gene Rader is known about the Paris area for wearing authentic English bowler hats. In closing, Randy donned one of his father’s famous hats and said, “When you are seen in such a hat and are in the jewelry business, you are bound to draw attention.”

Darrell Warren, Vice President of Stuller Inc., announced the Stuller Award for Excellence winners. Corey Wilkening of Hutchinson, Kan., was the first-place winner. Gerald Shirey of Buda, Texas, was second-place winner, and Ryan Richard of Texarkana was the third-place winner. Warren also presented all of the students obtaining the bench jewelry rating with certificates for a jeweler’s bench to help them get started in their careers.

The computer-aided jewelry design award went to Ryan Michael Richard of Texarkana. Corey Wilkening was recognized for two winning entries in a national CAD-CAM contest.

Student design contest winners are Stephen Thode of Enumclaw, Wash., overall winner in finished jewelry; Lea Ann Wright of Paris, art metals; and Laura Hayes of San Antonio, rendering.

Dr. Anglin and Dean McAnally presented certificates of completion in Jewelry Bench Technician to Jarred Michael Bleacher of Booth, Penn.; James. R. Hitchcock of Lawton, Okla.; Dustin Floyd of Crossett, Ark.; Laura Jane Hayes of San Antonio; Joni Mudgett of Smyrna, Tenn.; and Corey Wilkening.

Gemology graduates are Amy Lynn Dalton of Gibbstown, Penn.; Matthew B. Gomez of Athens, Ga.; Elaine A. Endo of Aiea, Hawaii; Rebecca Hale of Clarksville, Texas; Mark Lee of Houston, Texas; Michael W. Paolillo of Pemberton, N.J.; Aubrey Lavon Taylor of Alexandria, La.; Christianne Miller of Arlington, Texas; and Morgan Lindy West of Port Neches, Texas.

Computer-aided design graduates include Tyler Basinger, Kyle Macon Offutt and Scott T. Scholz, all of Paris; David Beauchamp of Amarillo, Texas; Jedediah Braun of Kodiac, Alaska; Amber Bynum of Viola, Ark.; Timothy P. Gallion of Lake Jackson, Texas; Cristin Nelson of Telephone, Texas; Morgan J. Walker of Dallas, Texas; and Ryan Richard and Corey Wilkening.

Jessica Lowe of Coppell, Texas, Timothy Madigan of San Antonio, Texas, LeaAnn Wright and Corey Wilkening received casting certificates.

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