Paine College moves past shootings to gear up for graduation

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News 12 11pm / Saturday, May 10, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Despite two shootings in less than a day last week Paine College seniors are one step closer to a degree.

The graduation activities kicked off with baccalaureate and News 12 was on campus as students gathered in prayer.

A set of cameras everyone on the Paine College campus wants to see. Proud parents capturing the moment of their child's accomplishments after a rough week.

"Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength," said Paine President, Dr. George C. Bradley.

Earlier this week a campus shooting sent one student to the hospital and another one to jail, but despite those distractions Paine College leaders told students that moment won't define them.

"No matter what sort of difficulty, how painful the experience is, if we lose our hope that's our real disaster," Dr. Bradley told the students.

The class of 2014 prayed, sang, and even clapped their hands in praise before the baccalaureate was over and they were free to go outside to celebrate with family.

"I wanted to be positive throughout the entire week," said graduating senior, Tekeya Peterson.

Peterson said the shootings really have not affected her.

"The week has been consistent for me because I've stayed on the joyous side, because this is a celebration for me," she said.

Alberto Argumedo's family came from Mexico to see him graduate Sunday, but even though things will end on a high note for his class he says there's no denying the shootings caused some stress.

"It feels like a relief because after what happened this week we were all worried and sad ," he said.

Paine's graduation will take place Sunday at 9 a.m. with a former White House staff member serving as the keynote speaker.

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