Sandhills Community College held its annual Computer Technologies Graduate Luncheon, recognizing the outstanding achievements of students in the Information Technology and Computer Engineering Technology programs. The Awards Day ceremony celebrated the hard work and dedication of students who have excelled in their respective programs.

Vice Chairman of the Sandhills Community College Board of Trustees Larry Caddell spoke to graduates about his experience as former CEO of Southern Software. "You are in a career field that will never be out of work. There will always be new programs and updates. People will always break their computers," he remarked. Caddell was a member of the first graduating class of Sandhills in 1967.

Sandhills is committed to providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in today's tech-driven world. "This field will drive the future," said Caddell. Speaking directly to the 2023 graduates, Caddell closed by saying, "When you walk across that stage, it's the first day of the rest of your life. Go through life-giving, and make an impact on someone else's life. That is a success."

Also in attendance was Edward Frick, a retired IBM executive who designed and installed the company's first online banking system and its first banking computer network. Frick sponsors an award given in the Computer Technologies department, the Frick Technology Achievement Award-Computer Technologies. To be considered for this honor, students must be enrolled in a Computer Engineering Technology program and demonstrate outstanding creativity and technical competence. The winner of this year's award was Brendan James Lee Evans. A monetary gift generously accompanied this award.

The Computer Technologies department offers two degree paths, Information and Technology (IT) and Computer Engineering Technology. Under the IT program, there are three areas of focus: Computer Programming and Development, Digital Media Production, and Gaming and Simulation. This program will lead to job opportunities in software engineering/development, graphic design, programming, game design, or system administration.

In the Computer Engineering Technology program, students can choose an area of focus in Hardware and Software Support, Medical Equipment Support, Networking, or Security. In addition to Sandhill's seven focus areas, they offer eleven certification certificates. Graduates of this program can seek employment as a security systems administrator, hardware support, medical equipment repairer, or network engineer

The Awards Day ceremony was a testament to the hard work and dedication of students, faculty, and staff, who have worked tirelessly to create a culture of excellence in computer technologies. With the continued support of people like Ed Frick, they can provide students with the encouragement and honor they deserve to launch a career in the field.