Kilgore College held three commencements to honor its spring graduates May 13.
The processions included a majority of 467 graduation applicants and 511 degrees and certificates were awarded.
To watch a replay of the ceremonies, visit the KC YouTube page.
The 2 p.m. graduation was for students earning Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS) and Certificates. At 6 p.m., the graduation was 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 presented 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 was Floyd Wingo, and Judge Bill Stoudt was 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 was Kenneth C. Raney, Jr., and Judge Robert J. “Duke” Bodisch, Sr. was 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.:
Major General Robert J. “Duke” Bodisch Sr. has served in the Texas State Guard for the past 33 years having joined the guard in 1988. Gen. Bodisch currently serves as the Commanding General, Texas State Guard, appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott. Prior to that position, he served as the Deputy Commanding General for the Texas State Guard from 2013-2017, and Commanding General of the Texas Maritime Regiment from 2009 to 2013. Gen. Bodisch also served four years in the United States Marine Corps from 1969 to 1973, and six additional years in the Reserves. Since 1988, Gen. Bodisch has served in a number of significant command and staff positions to include Commanding Officer, Company A, 601st Military Police Battalion; Commanding Officer, 601st Military Police Battalion; Executive Officer, 6th Military Police Regiment; and Personnel Director (J-1). Gen. Bodisch served two years in Iraq (2005 & 2007) with the US Dept. of Justice, International Criminal Investigative Police Training Assistance Program. Gen. Bodisch was awarded the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Civilian Service Commendation Medal in 2005 and the U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal in 2007 for his service in Iraq. Gen. Bodisch is a graduate of the U.S. Army Basic Military Police Officer and the U.S. Army Advanced Military Police Officer courses, and the Joint Task Force Commander Training Course. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Houston and a Master of Science degree in Quality Systems Management from the National Graduate School, in Falmouth, Massachusetts. General Bodisch has also served in law enforcement since 1973 and most recently served as the Deputy Director-Chief of Staff for the Texas Department of Public Safety. He was also responsible for Texas Homeland Security, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism Division, and the Texas Division of Emergency Management. Gen. Bodisch holds a Master Peace Officer license and has more than 6,800 hours of law enforcement training. He retired from active law enforcement in 2018 after 45 years of service. Gen. Bodisch currently holds a Secret clearance with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He is married to Charisse Canfield and has four sons: Colonel Robert, Jr. (currently serving in the U.S. Marine Corps); Kenneth (retired 1st Sgt., U. S. Marine Corps and currently working at FEMA); James (who serves as an Emergency Services Dispatcher for Williamson County); and Joseph (who is an engineer with the Ball Corp in Fort Worth).