COLLEGEVILLE PA – Limerick’s state senator, John C. Rafferty, will be joined by state Rep. Mike Vereb in conducting a town meeting for Ursinus College students Oct. 22 (2009; Thursday) at 6 p.m. in Room 107 of Olin Hall at the college, Main Street, Collegeville PA.

The session is intended to allow students, faculty and staff members to meet and interact with the state legislators as they discuss issues facing Pennsylvania.

Rafferty is a former state deputy attorney general who represents residents of Pennsylvania’s 44th Senatorial District. He was re-elected for a second term in November 2006. Rafferty serves as chairman of the Senate Law and Justice Committee, and is a member of Appropriations, Banking and Insurance, Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, Judiciary, and Transportation committees.

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Black graduation caps with maroon tassles await Montgomery County's latest GED graduates Wednesday night.

Black graduation caps with maroon tassles await Montgomery County's latest GED graduates Wednesday night.

Lower Pottsgrove's state senator, John Rafferty, was the graduation ceremony's keynote speaker.

Limerick Township's state senator, John Rafferty, was the graduation ceremony's keynote speaker.

POTTSTOWN PA – John Rafferty knows something about the value of a general equivalency diploma (GED). In a wide-ranging career that, so far, has led him to become Limerick‘s representative in the state Senate, Rafferty said he once worked for a millionaire investor who held – that’s right – a GED.

Which proves, Rafferty told a GED graduating class Wednesday night (April 15, 2009) at Montgomery County Community College‘s West Campus, that determined learners like themselves can succeed just as easily as his former boss.

Rafferty, whose 44th Senatorial District includes Limerick and Lower Pottsgrove (PA) townships, was the keynote speaker during a graduation ceremony for 60 adults who earned the equivalent of a high school diploma on an advanced schedule.

Some graduates, like Wednesday’s student speaker Jerrica Brendel, were forced to leave school early due to family care-giving needs. Others left to start work, and intended to return but never could. Some were drop-outs who later learned the value of completing their education. Their reasons and situations no longer mattered, Brendel said; the fact that they finished did.

Proud grad? You bet'cha.

Proud grad? You bet.

The community room at the campus, 101 College Dr., was filled to capacity by friends, family members, and pomp and circumstance. The audience cheered, applauded and shouted graduates’ names as they proudly walked across the stage and shook a line of officials’ hands. “Thank you, Jesus,” one woman yelled as her daughter paraded across the stage, diploma in hand. The crowd laughed and clapped.

Montgomery County’s GED program is sponsored by the county Workforce Investment Board. For more information on local GED registration, call the college toll-free at 888-548-8480.