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Halifax CC awards degrees to the Class of 2011

Ceremony marks 44th annual graduation

 

Halifax Community College (HCC) graduates of the class of 2011 were eager to march across the stage Saturday, May 14, in The Centre as they accepted credentials during the 44th annual graduation. This year, there were 468 degrees, certificates, and diplomas awarded including the General Education Diploma (GED). HCC also had 248 graduates participating in the ceremony along with 132 hooders for a total of 380 participants.

 

Retired school administrator and Board of Governors for the University of North Carolina member Dr. Dudley E. Flood gave the commencement address. He noted five things that graduates need to do to be successful.

 

Flood encouraged graduates to “find something that you love to do so well that you would do it free of charge if you could afford to…commit yourself to whatever that is to the point that you get so good at it that when people think about that thing, they think immediately of you…figure out how to make money at it…associate with people who respect what you do…and diversify.” He added, “Don’t get in a rut. A rut is a shallow grave.”

 

Flood explained that graduates are just beginning, or commencing, something in their lives. “Live every day like you think it will be your last,” he added.

 

North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) Associate Vice President of College and Career Readiness Dr. Randy Whitfield brought greetings from NCCCS. “You are our success,” said Whitfield to the graduates. She noted that by 2018, 62 percent of all jobs will require higher education.

 

“You are very smart to have gone ahead and started on the path to your career. Today, when we talk about earning a living, we are actually talking more about learning a living,” Whitfield added. She commended graduates for their hard work and achievement.

 

HCC President, Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr. gave the charge to the graduates. “My congratulations for your perseverance and drive in continuing your program of study and you should indeed be proud to join the ranks of HCC alumni,” said Griffin, who gave special encouragement to HCC’s GED graduates to continue their education at the college.

 

In addition, he stressed that all graduates need to be the “leaders for today and visionaries for tomorrow.” He charged graduates to have these characteristics: lead with personal integrity, have a giving attitude, have an unwavering commitment to the truth, and have a long-term perspective toward life and a passionate pursuit of excellence.

 

“Do not allow yourself, your organization, your children or anything attached to you to become mediocre. Being average is not exactly the benchmark in today’s global economy. We say we want excellence in our lives, but excellence is not cheap. Often, we do not want to pay the price,” said Griffin. “Life is too short to wake up with regrets.”

 

Graduate Elsie Davenport gave the student response. “I am so glad to have reached this magic moment,” said Davenport. “Everything one needs to be successful at this school is provided by our advisors…We appreciate you.” She also complimented various student services that are offered to help students be successful at HCC.

 

Davenport then shared a story of a non-traditional student who came through many obstacles and health problems in order to gain an education. “Her HCC family, students and administrators stayed by her side,” she explained. The student was later revealed to be Davenport herself. In addition, Davenport encouraged graduates to learn all they can.

 

Also part of the ceremony, Griffin recognized recipients of the fifth annual Presidential Partnership Award. The award recognizes organizations and individuals who assist HCC in fulfilling its mission. North Carolina Missions of Mercy, Branch Banking & Trust, Southern Bank, First Citizens Bank, and Marshall Grant were presented the award for their commitment and partnership in developing education, workforce and economic development programs in the Roanoke Valley.


 
Dr. Dudley E. Flood, center, addressed HCC graduates during commencement exercises, May 14.
Dr. Dudley E. Flood, center, addressed HCC graduates during commencement exercises, May 14.
 
     
  HCC class of 2011 graduates celebrated during the 44th annual graduation ceremony.
HCC class of 2011 graduates celebrated during the 44th annual graduation ceremony.