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May 12, 2014
Halifax Community College awards degrees, certificates and diplomas to the Class of 2014
WELDON, N.C. – Halifax Community College (HCC) graduated the class of 2014 on Saturday, May 10, in The Centre. This year marked the 47th annual commencement. During the ceremony, 407 degrees, certificates and diplomas were conferred on 351 graduates. Venessa Harrison, president of AT&T North Carolina, was the featured speaker.

"You were put on this earth for a purpose," said Harrison. "Each one of you has brilliance inside of you just waiting to come out." She encouraged graduates to explore, to have courage in all that they do or aspire to do, to have faith, to go forward and to use their resources and networks.

"We know that there will be challenges, but you are ready. Your life is not determined by what happens to you, but how you react to what happens—not by what life brings you, but by the positive Halifax Community College attitude that you bring to life," Harrison added.

"I encourage you to live, be courageous, be adventurous. No matter how you feel, you are a Halifax Community College graduate and in the graceful, elegant Halifax Community College style, you will show up, you will get up, you will dress up because you are the class of 2014 and you are ready," she concluded.

HCC President Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr. gave the charge to the graduates. He encouraged them to find their purpose in life. "Challenge the perceptions that you might have of yourself and what other people might think of you," said Griffin. "You will find in life that people don't always appreciate you like they should until someone else starts to appreciate you more."

Griffin also talked about types of individuals that may come into one's life. These included yesterday, today and tomorrow people. He said that tomorrow people "have been where you are now, where you want to go, and will show you how to stay there for a while when you get there… Tomorrow people are the ones you should get to know if you choose your relationships wisely and refuse to compromise your standards and goals to be friendly with the yesterday people."

He noted that the standards graduates set will determine the types of people they will attract into their lives. "You reap what you sow," Griffin said. "What you put into life will determine what you get out of it… Don't let other people define who you are and what vision you have for your life."

Graduate Apryl Davison-Cobb gave the student response. "We've been through a lot together. We've learned a lot, laughed a lot, cried a lot, but most importantly, we've achieved a lot," she said. "We weren't taught what to think but how to think, not what to learn but how to learn. Our journey to success is marked by not only the education we so eagerly received here, but also by the relationships that we created." She added that graduates are fighters, believers and leaders.

"My challenge to the graduating class of 2014 is to be fearless, dare to dream, and be a bow and arrow because an arrow can only be shot by pulling it back. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, know that it is preparing to launch you into something great. Just focus and keep aiming" said Davison-Cobb.

Recipients of the eighth annual Presidential Partnership Award were honored. The award recognizes organizations and individuals who assist HCC in fulfilling its mission. Halifax County Convention & Visitors Bureau, USAF Heritage of America Band—U.S. Air Force, 440th Army Band—N.C. Army National Guard and U.S. Fleet Forces Showband—U.S. Navy were presented the award for their commitment and partnership in developing education, workforce and economic development programs in the Roanoke Valley. The ceremony highlighted student academic success. Georgiana Couden was honored by the North Carolina Community College System as an outstanding student, earning the system's Academic Excellence Award and representing HCC.

Graduates 2014
HCC Class of 2014 graduates celebrated during the 47th annual commencement.
Recipients of the eighth annual Presidential Partnership Award were honored during HCC’s commencement exercises. Pictured from left are: North Carolina Community College System Associate Director of Student Development and Leadership Daniel Avarado, keynote speaker and AT&T North Carolina President Venessa Harrison, HCC President Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr., Halifax County Convention & Visitors Bureau President/CEO Lori Medlin, N.C. Army National Guard's 440th Army Band SGT Christopher McKinnon and SFC Mark W. Medlin, and U.S. Navy's U.S. Fleet Forces Showband Petty Officer Andre L. Robinson.

More photos are available on HCC’s Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Halifax-Community-College/60392353468?fref=ts.
Halifax Community College’s Mission
Halifax Community College strives to meet the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.
Primary Media Contact: Melanie Temple, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, mtemple295@halifaxcc.edu, 252-538-4319

Secondary Media Contact: Dr. Dianne Rhoades, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Halifax Community College and Executive Director of the Halifax Community College Foundation Inc., dbarnes-rhoades128@halifaxcc.edu, 252-536-7239