Kilgore College will hold three commencements this week to honor its spring graduates.
The processions will include a majority of 467 graduation applicants and 511 degrees and certificates are expected to be awarded.
At 10 a.m. Thursday, May 12, in Dodson Auditorium, KC will host a graduation/pinning ceremony for Nursing (ADN) and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) graduates.
On Friday, May 13, KC will hold two graduation ceremonies at 2 and 6 p.m., also in Dodson Auditorium.
The 2 p.m. graduation is for students earning Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS) and Certificates. At 6 p.m., the graduation is for students earning Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS) and Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) degrees.
In lieu of a graduation speaker, KC will present Blue Ribbon Medals of Excellence for Alumni Success and Blue Ribbon Medals of Excellence for Student Success.
At the 2 p.m. ceremony, the recipient of the Blue Ribbon Medal of Excellence for Alumni Success will be Floyd Wingo, and Judge Bill Stoudt will be honored with the Blue Ribbon Medal of Excellence for Student Success.
For the 6 p.m. ceremony, the recipient of the Blue Ribbon Medal of Excellence for Alumni Success will be Kenneth C. Raney, Jr., and Judge Robert J. “Duke” Bodisch, Sr. will be honored with the Blue Ribbon Medal of Excellence for Student Success.
About the Blue Ribbon Medals of Excellence:
The Blue Ribbon Medals of Excellence for Alumni and Student Success are presented by the college at graduation ceremonies to celebrate and honor the partnerships formed between the institution and successful alumni, community members and/or businesses dedicated to the furtherance of KC’s mission.
About Floyd Wingo:
Floyd Wingo, a native of White Oak, graduated from Kilgore College in 1984 with an Associate of Arts in Police Science and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in 2000 from UT Tyler. He began his career in the United States Marine Corps. in 1985, working in military police, patrol, and security. His rank was Sergeant before leaving the Marine Corps. in 1988. For the next 28 years, he served Gregg County by working at the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office, holding positions such as patrol, Gregg County Organized Drug Enforcement CODE unit, Drug Enforcement Administration, Task Force Officer, Criminal Investigator, North Jail Administrator, and Lieutenant. In 2009, he was awarded the Asset Forfeiture Award from the United States Attorney’s Office, and in 2012, he was honored by the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office as Investigator of the Year. From 2018-2020, Wingo served as Assistant Police Chief for the Gilmer Police Department. In 2021, Wingo was elected as Gregg County Commissioner for Precinct 3, a position he holds to this day. He is married to wife, Karon, and they have three children and five grandchildren.
About Judge Bill Stoudt:
Judge Bill Stoudt will begin his 6th term on Jan. 1, 2023, as Gregg County Judge. He is married to Suzanne, a retired teacher with the Longview Independent School District. Judge Stoudt has one daughter, Cameron, who is a practicing veterinarian of Equine Surgery in Pilot Point, Texas. Judge Stoudt has served in many areas of the community as a volunteer. He is a founder of the Boys & Girls Club of East Texas and is the proud recipient of the 2016 Champion of Youth award. Judge Stoudt presently serves as a Trustee of the Centurion Club, a non-profit cooperative foundation that provides financial assistance to the families of East Texas police officers. Additionally, he is a Community Advisory Director of the Junior League of Longview. He is a longtime member of Rotary and was named “2013 Citizen of the Year.” Judge Stoudt was also honored by the East Texas Council of Governments as the “2013 Statesman of the Year.” In 2014, Judge Stoudt was appointed by Texas Department of Transportation Commissioner Jeff Austin as chairman of the I-20 East Texas Corridor Advisory Committee for the future development of the roadway between Dallas and Shreveport. In 2014, Judge Stoudt, on behalf of Gregg County, received the Leadership Circle Platinum Award from the Texas Comptroller’s Office for excellence in transparency in financial records in Gregg County government. In 2016, Judge Stoudt was appointed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to serve as Chairman of the State Commission on Jail Standards and is serving his second term. In 2017, Judge Stoudt was recognized as a Unity Honors Recipient in the City of Longview. The Unity Honors is a lifetime achievement award that pays homage to individuals in the community who have demonstrated leadership in the promotion of harmony, understanding, and social justice. Judge Stoudt is the past chairman of the East Texas Council of Governments and currently serves on their Board of Directors. The Gregg County Historical Museum honored Judge Stoudt with their 2018 Preservation Award. In 2019, he was chosen as the 2018 Texas Government Official of the Year in recognition of his dedicated service in the promotion of regional cooperation. Judge Stoudt is currently serving on the 2021 Board of Directors of the Longview Chamber of Commerce, and The Texas Judicial Academy, educational wing of the Texas Association of Counties, certified Judge Stoudt as a Fellow of the Academy for the fiscal year 2021.
About Kenneth C. Raney, Jr.:
Ken Raney, a native of Longview, has practiced law in the State of Texas since 1977. After graduating from Longview High School, he earned an associate’s degree from Kilgore College in 1972, a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas in 1974, and graduated from South Texas College of Law in 1977. Raney and his family have quite a connection to the college. While at KC, Raney was vice president of the sophomore class president of the student body. Raney’s parents, Dr. Kenneth C. Raney III and Grace Lanell Utzman Raney, were both proud graduates of KC. Raney’s mom, Grace Utzman Raney, was on the 4th Line of the Rangerettes, and his aunt Nadine was married to legendary KC football coach Jimmy Parks. Besides watching his cousins, Janet and Bobby, participate in Kilgore activities, he and his sister, Amy (also a KC alum) had the joy of spending time with their great-aunts who lived in the now-historical Dean-Keener-Crim house in downtown Kilgore. When Raney enrolled at KC as his first step toward becoming an attorney, he became a Rangerette Manager. Here he met and fell in love with a Rangerette, Carolyn Thomas (31st line), whom he would marry after they both received their bachelor degrees from The University of Texas at Austin. Their daughter, Claire, attended KC in 1997 (57th line) to ensure three generations of Rangerettes in the family line. Claire’s 5-year-old daughter, Scarlett, already has her sights set on being a 4th generation line member. Raney currently serves as the director of the Kilgore College Foundation and is a director for the Texas Historical Foundation. When Raney began working with the KC Foundation’s board in 2004, they had a bit over $1.96 million to use for projects. In its 25th year, the Foundation has grown from $121,000 in 1995 to over $21 million today.
About Robert J. “Duke” Bodisch, Sr.:
Robert J. “Duke” Bodisch, Sr. was first commissioned as a Texas Peace Officer in 1973 and currently holds a Master Peace Officer license with more than 6,800 hours of law enforcement education and training. Bodisch earned an Associate and Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from the University of Houston and a Master’s of Science degree in Quality Systems Management. He served as a deputy sheriff with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department from 1973-1975, was lieutenant investigator with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office from 1975-1984, was chief investigator with the Texas Prosecutor Council in 1985, and senior criminal investigator with the Texas Attorney General’s Office from 1985 to 1989. He served as the director of the Governor’s Texas Narcotics Control Program from 1996-2001 and served as the Director of Education and Training for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education from 2002-2005. In 2006, he served as assistant director of the Office of Special Investigations for the Texas Attorney General’s Office. In 2006, he developed a Model Policy and Procedure for the Response to a Suicide/Homicide Bomber which was adopted by a number of law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and listed on the Dept. of Justice-Bureau of Justice Assistance law enforcement assistance website. He served two tours of duty in Iraq (2005 & 2007) working for the Department of Justice, International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP). For his service during 2005, Director Bodisch received the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Civilian Service Commendation Medal awarded by Lieutenant General Martin E. Dempsey, Commanding General for MNSTCI. In 2007, Bodisch received the U. S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal awarded by Lieutenant General James M. Dubik. Upon his retirement in August of 2018 – after a 45-year law enforcement career – Bodisch was commissioned a Special Texas Ranger by the Director of the Department of Public Safety.
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