More than a thousand students to graduate from LFCC on Saturday

Emily Hammersley, 21, of Woodstock, sits inside a lab in the Science and Health Professions building at Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown. Hammersley will receive an associate's degree in science on Saturday and plans to enroll at George Mason University to pursue a degree in community health. Rich Cooley/Daily

Lord Fairfax Community College will see more than 1,100 students graduate at its 47th commencement exercise on Saturday.

One of those students is Emily Hammersley, who along with her brother, is a first-generation college student.

“I am so excited. My whole family is excited,” Hammersley said.

Her mother is a hairdresser who drives to Fairfax County for work, and her father worked construction before becoming a firefighter for Shenandoah County.

“I love my parents to death. They work so hard to care for me,” Hammersley said. “They continued to reiterate the fact that education is something people cannot take away from me.”

She has completed her surgical tech studies at LFCC.

“I did it with a lot of help from administrators. I found my way,” Hammersley said of her past three years of study in which college and its routines and demands were unfamiliar. “I have had to plan like no one’s business. I have to keep up and know the end goal is bigger than what’s happening at the moment.”

Hammersley plans to continue her studies in the fall at George Mason University. Her major is community health.

“I am so ready. I have been there a few times. I have had my eye on George Mason since I graduated high school.”

Student Morgan Ryan is scheduled to speak to her class.

Ryan will graduate with an associate of science degree in communication, with plans to transfer to the University of Mary Washington to study English, according to Sally Voth, spokesperson for Lord Fairfax Community College. Ryan’s long-term goal is to become a teacher.

Ryan is already a gifted student, leader and entrepreneur who has drawn inspiration from her professors, Voth said.

Ryan started her own online bookselling business last year and is a third-party seller on sites like Amazon and eBay.

“I had these really amazing professors who inspired me to want to become one and to follow in their footsteps,” Ryan said in a prepared statement. “They have such unique ways of teaching. They let their personalities show and they make the classes fun.”

Lord Fairfax Community College graduation

When: 1 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Skyline High School, 151 Skyline Vista Drive, Front Royal.

1,184: Number of students graduating.

143: Number of graduating students from Shenandoah County.

287: Number of graduating students from Frederick County.

98: Number of graduating students from Warren County.

197: Number of graduating students from Winchester.