PJC holding Friday graduation at Noyes Stadium
Published or Revised May 12, 2023
The five Paris Junior College students nominated for the Distinguished Service Award are, from left: Celia Hagler, Ryan Davis, Samantha Puente, Jacob Thomas, and Brendan Batchelder.
Paris Junior College will hold the Spring 2023 Commencement Ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, May 12, 2023 at Noyes Stadium. Over 500 students have applied to graduate, and about 300 plan to walk in the ceremony.
One of the highlights of the spring graduation is the presentation of the Distinguished Service Award (DSA), the highest student honor given at PJC. It has been presented to a PJC graduate since 1935, when it was first given to Louis B. Williams, who later became president of Paris Junior College. The Award recognizes academic achievement and service to PJC and the community and is given to an outstanding graduating student. This year five students have been nominated.
Brendan Batchelder, a 2015 graduate of Denver Center for International Studies in Denver, Colorado, is Vice President of Phi Theta Kappa, the two-year college honor society, and a member of the Student Government Association, Texas Student Advisory Council, the 2023 All-Texas Academic Team, 2023 All USA Academic Team, All Texas Century Scholar, American Medical Society Student Association Pre-med Transfer Scholarship recipient, 2023 Mr. PJC Nominee and been named twice to the President’s List. He represented PJC in Austin at Community College Day 2023. He plans to transfer to the biomedical sciences program at Texas A&M University, and apply to medical school after that to pursue a dual PhD and MD.
Ryan Davis, a 2021 graduate of Midway High School in Waco, is a returning member of the Dragons Baseball Team and a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the two-year college honor society, and Treasurer of the Student Government Association. He has been named to the President’s List three times. He plans to continue playing baseball at a four-year university and continue studying Criminal Justice.
Celia Hagler, a 2023 Home School graduate of Detroit, is President of Phi Theta Kappa, the two-year college honor society, Vice President of the Student Government Association, and a member of the 2023 All-Texas Academic Team. She has served as the Texas Junior College Student Government Association Region 3 Treasurer and been involved in the Criminal Justice Club. She has been a part of winning awards at the state and international levels for research projects. She has been accepted to the Neuroscience program at the University of Southern California with a full ride scholarship.
Samantha Puente a 2021 graduate of Hebron High School in Plano, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the two-year college honor society, Publicity Director of the Student Government Association, a two-year member of the PJC Softball Team, a 2023 Miss PJC Nominee and has twice been named to the President’s List. She plans to continue playing softball at a four-year university while pursuing her degree in physical therapy in hopes of working with children and young adults.
Jacob Thomas, a 2021 graduate of Paris High School, is the Student Government Association President and a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the two-year honor society, and a 2023 Mr. PJC Nominee. He represented PJC in Austin at Community College Day 2023. After graduation, he plans to attend the University of North Texas and live long and be happy.