First International GSSP Students Graduate From Richard Bland College
Richard Bland College of William & Mary students Sucheng Shen and Tianyi Zhang traveled 8,208 miles from their native China in 2017 to begin their college journey.
Through a partnership with Navitas, a leading global education provider, the pair have become the first Global Student Success Program (GSSP) students to graduate from Richard Bland College, joining 276 classmates who will earn their associate degree at the College’s 56th Commencement Ceremony on May 11.
Shen, who likes to be called “Sam,” majored in math and computer science. He plans to continue his education at Purdue University where he will major in math. “I am happy I came to Richard Bland and I am honored to be one of the first two GSSP students to graduate. RBC has provided me with a unique experience, one that I will cherish forever.”
Zhang, who is known as “Jack” to fellow students, majored in science and plans to attend William & Mary in the fall. “I was able to get involved in a lot of programs and clubs, and I received a well-rounded education at RBC,” said Jack. “I feel much more prepared for the future.”
“International students add tremendous value to the educational experience of all students. Sam and Jack have added to a vibrant and diverse culture at the College through their global perspectives,” said President Debbie L. Sydow.
There are more than 30 international students attending Richard Bland College, and that number is expected to grow with the incoming freshman class.
“Having a student body that is so diverse helped expose me to so many rewarding experiences and opportunities,” says Ashley Kirk, Class of ‘19. “The environment on campus allows students from different backgrounds to connect easily and lets individual personalities flourish.”
Sam and Jack received their diplomas early so that they could return to China for the summer.
Richard Bland College’s international programs include students from South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Pakistan, China, Portugal, Germany, Spain, Brazil and France.