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May 15, 2017
HCC Hosts 50th Commencement Ceremony
WELDON, N.C. – Halifax Community College (HCC) proudly hosted its 2017 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13. The celebration was HCC’s fiftieth commencement.

More than 1200 people gathered at The Centre@HCC to celebrate with the graduates as they took the final steps in this part of their academic journey. For some, it was the culmination of years of hard work, sacrifice and commitment. It was the moment they had been waiting for since their first day.

The commencement speaker this year was North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein. During his address, he congratulated the graduates on making it this far, and encouraged them to continue moving forward. “I encourage you to view today, not as the end of your education, but as an important milestone in a long journey where you regularly seek new knowledge and skills.”

After the Honorable Josh Stein spoke, faculty and students who had demonstrated excellence in the last year were recognized. Stephanie Meadows, an accounting instructor, was recognized as the 2017 Excellence in Teaching winner. Gary Redding, an English instructor, was recognized as the Excellence in Academic Advising winner.

Nichole Medlin, a graduate in medical office administration, was selected as one of 58 students in the state as the “Great within the 58” academic excellence award. Medlin was chosen as the winner for HCC by the North Carolina Community College System office, and was presented with a plaque and a medallion to recognize her success.

In addition to individual recognition, students graduating with academic honors were recognized. Those graduating with grade point averages between 3.7 and 4.0 were recognized, and their designated medals were explained. In addition, members of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society were also recognized.

The administration and HCC Board of Trustees took time to acknowledge the individuals and organizations that have contributed to the success of HCC during the last academic year, most assuredly improving the lives of all students. The 2017 Presidential Partners awards were presented to the following recipients: Sen. Angela Bryant, Rep. Michael Wray, and Sen. Erica Smith-Ingram of the North Carolina General Assembly; Ronnie Keeter of the North Carolina Department of Transportation; Mr. James Vaughan of Caledonia Correctional Facility, a branch of the North Carolina Department of Corrections; Vernon Bryant and Fannie Greene of the Halifax and Northampton County Board of Commissioners; and Rev. Dr. Danny Ellis of St. Paul’s Baptist Church.

As diplomas and certificates were distributed, the administration of HCC made a special presentation to the parents of William Cole Robbins. Robbins was a student at HCC who had recently completed the Welding program. Tragically, Robbins passed away one week prior to graduation. His parents were presented with his diploma, and recognized for the contributions he made to the Welding department. They were greeted with a standing ovation from the attendees, and were addressed individually by several members of the platform party.

More than 300 certificates, diplomas and degrees were conferred during the commencement ceremony, and the graduates were congratulated heartily by Dr. Michael Elam, president of HCC. “Class of 2017, you are special and you are unique,” he said. “You are the fiftieth graduating class of Halifax Community College. You are ready to face the world, and I believe in you.” He continued, “Today, as you leave Halifax Community College, exit with extreme confidence knowing that you are well prepared and equipped to achieve your dreams, and you have the power to change the world.”

In response to the speakers, and as a voice for the graduates of the Class of 2017, Derrick Allen gave the student response. “During my time at Halifax Community College, I have had a great experience,” Allen said. “As we prepare to go our separate ways, do not think of this as a journey’s end. for it does not end here. This is only the beginning. Now step in to your destiny, and go conquer your future.”

As the graduates and the distinguished guests processed out of the ceremony, they were reminded of Elam’s words. The 2017 class of HCC exited to “We Are the World,” a song from 1986 that served as a reminder of the mission that now lay before them.
graduation photo 1
Tommy and Deneed Robbins accept a posthumous diploma on behalf of their son, William Cole Robbins
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Recent graduates following commencement
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Student speaker Derrick Allen, along with fellow graduates, prepare to exit commencement
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: Molly Wallace, Director of Public Relations & Marketing, mwallace786@halifaxcc.edu, 252-538-4319