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May 17, 2016
Halifax Community College awards degrees, certificates and diplomas to the Class of 2016
WELDON, N.C. – Halifax Community College (HCC) graduated the class of 2016 on Saturday, May 14, in The Centre. This year marked the 49th annual commencement. During the ceremony students were awarded 620 degrees, certificates and diplomas.

Senator Angela R. Bryant, District 4, was the featured speaker. Bryant thanked all in attendance for the role they played in the success of Halifax Community College as well as each graduating class. She gave special thanks to President Ervin V. Griffin Sr., her "friend, advisor and colleague" for the great introduction.

Senator Bryant told the audience that she looked forward to all the positive changes and improvements to come in the next few years with the projects that will be funded by the bond package that passed in March of this year. She chose as her theme for her remarks "Formation" from Beyoncé’s new album.

Bryant gave the following advice to the graduates on the ways to get in formation:
  • A strong educational foundation will help you build a better future.
  • Teamwork makes the dream work.
  • The importance of staying positive, realistic and polite.
She further told the graduates "never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. Stay gracious, the best revenge is to get this paper that will be in your hands in a few minutes. Your work will speak for itself."

HCC President Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr. gave the charge to the graduates. Griffin congratulated the graduates and stated they now have the stamp of approval from HCC. They not only represent themselves but each person that has worked with them. "You are now a college graduate; in other words, if you talk the talk, you must walk the walk." He encouraged them to find their special 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 attract into their lives. "You reap what you sow," Griffin said. "What you put into life will determine what you get out of life…Do not let other people define who you are and what vision you have for your life."

Cynthia Edwards responded to the charge to the graduates given by Dr. Griffin by greeting all in attendance... She congratulated all graduates for reaching this milestone in their life and gave thanks to the faculty and staff for their support. Edwards concluded her remarks by saying, "As we close this chapter and continue to write the pages of our lives, let us never forget the bridges crossed, bonds shared and memories made and always remember the important role that HCC played in helping us accomplish this goal. And yes, Dr. Griffin the class of 2016 accepts your challenge."

Recipients of the annual Presidential Partnership Awards were honored. The award recognizes organizations and individuals who assist HCC in fulfilling its mission. Carl Walton/United States Postal Service, William "Kris" Neal/Weldon Steel, Dr. Anitra Wells and Chris Butler/Roanoke Valley Early College, Mr. Marshall Grant/HCC Foundation Donor and Bernadette Miles/United States Department of Education.

The ceremony also highlighted the academic success of Rodney Lashley, who was honored by the North Carolina Community College System as an outstanding student, earning the system's Academic Excellence Award and representing HCC. Associate Vice President for Programs for the North Carolina Community College System Wesley Beddard presented the award.

Click here to view more photos of this events.
HCC Class of 2016 graduates celebrated during the 49th annual commencement.
Recipients of the annual Presidential Partnership Award were honored during HCC's commencement exercises. Pictured from left are William "Kris" Neal with Weldon Steel, Dr. Anitra Wells with Roanoke Valley Early College, Chris Butler with Roanoke Valley Early College, Myra Lynn, Postmaster of Washington, NC accepting for Carl Walton with the US Postal Service, Marshall Grant with HCC Foundation and HCC President Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr.
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.
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