A new beginning can bring about a range of emotions-happiness, anticipation, confidence, optimism, curiosity.
For Calvin Ingram, a mechanical engineering senior at Florida Polytechnic University, the idea of beginning his college experience as part of the university’s inaugural graduating class was one emotion only: excitement.
“I loved that I would have the chance to help grow the school. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a major part of the development of a new university,” said Ingram.
When asked about the unique experience of being an inaugural graduate, Ingram noted it’s been hard at times to look past the day-to-day responsibilities of being a student, but he’s glad he had a chance to make a longer-term impact alongside the professors, administrators and other students who are building the university together.
But creating new things isn’t new for Ingram. In high school, he helped create a STEM-focused learning program, and even started and managed a successful band. At Florida Poly, Ingram was a founding member of the school’s Baptist Collegiate Ministry chapter and helped spearhead the use of new information tools during his time as a pricing analyst intern at John Jerue Truck Broker, a logistics company based in Lakeland, Florida, with offices throughout North America and in Canada.
Ingram says his Florida Poly education helped prepare him for his work at Jerue.
“I’ve had great guidance from my professors and co-workers that helped me apply my school learning to the work world.”
The Ft. Myers, Florida native says Florida Poly students are constantly driven to become better at their field, and that the professors are encouraging of students to be the best they can be.
“Like they say, iron sharpens iron,” said Ingram.
His next big change will take place in August when he marries his college sweetheart, Hannah Royce, a fellow Florida Poly student. Royce plans to pursue graduate studies and still has another semester before graduation. Until then, the couple plans to become more involved in their church and the Lakeland community.
As the inaugural class graduates and moves into the next round of new beginnings, Ingram knows his classmates will find success.
“It’s not just the strength of the students as they go through Florida Poly, but the drive they carry as they go out.”
Editor’s Note: This story is one of a series of stories featuring several of Florida Poly’s CLASS OF 2018 GRADUATES.
Assistant Director of Communications