On Thursday, May 23 the GWC School of Nursing held its Pinning Ceremony in the beautiful Amphitheater where 46 graduates were presented with a special nursing pin. The pinning ceremony is a time-honored nursing school tradition. Often more personally meaningful than the graduation ceremony, it signifies the initiation into the sisterhood and brotherhood of nurses.
The modern ceremony dates back to the 1860s, when Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in recognition for her tireless service to the injured during the Crimean War. To share the honor, she in turn presented a medal of excellence to her brightest graduates. By 1916, the practice of pinning new graduates was standard throughout the U.S.
Luke Kim was the student speaker, entertaining the students and crowd by sharing highlights of his nursing school experiences. Things that they can now laugh about.
Mary Ann Gaedig was chosen unanimously by the graduating class to give the “Significance of the Pin” speech. She joked, “They must have voted for me because I am the oldest graduate and they think I must have actually known Florence Nightingale!”
In an emotional portion of the ceremony, happy tears were in many eyes as they were moved by the pinning of each graduate by a family member or close friend.
The Golden West College 46th Annual Commencement followed the Pinning Ceremony and the nursing students once again stood out in their white gowns.