CCCC celebrates 50th Anniversary spring graduation
Sheila Coffer, of Lee County, delivered one of the graduating student addresses at the afternoon session ... (more)
Jessica Cooper (right), of Lee County, receives her Associate in Arts degree from Central Carolina ... (more)
Kelly Warren (center), of Lee County, and her parents, Roy Warren and Deborah Wilson, are all smiles ... (more)
Bobby Williams (right), of Harnett County, receives his Associate in Applied Science degree from Central ... (more)
Karen Diaz, of Harnett County, was one of four student speakers at Central Carolina Community College's ... (more)
Barry Guyton, of Dunn, and his family share their pride in Guyton's receiving his Associate in Applied ... (more)
Phillip Powers (right), of Chatham County, receives congratulations from Central Carolina Community ... (more)
Ellen Bland, of Chatham County, Central Carolina Community College Humanities instructor and CCCC ... (more)
SANFORD - Excitement filled the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center Friday as Central Carolina Community College celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2012. This was the college's 50th Anniversary year spring commencement.
The celebration filled the main hall of the Civic Center twice over as two sessions, morning and afternoon, were held to accommodate the graduating class and all the family and friends who came to enjoy this milestone with them.
"Truly, truly, this is the most joyful day in the academic calendar," CCCC President Bud Marchant told the gathering.
At the morning exercises, former CCCC trustee Frances Frye Roberts Warner received the first Honorary Associate degree presented by the college in its 50-year history. Warner was honored both for her service as a trustee from 1999 to 2011 and also for her outstanding service to the community. (See accompanying article.)
Commencement speaker Ellen Bland, Humanities instructor and CCCC Instructor of the Year, delivered the commencement address at both programs. She cautioned the graduates not to let the connectivity technology that has become so common take the place of human connectivity.
Bland surprised and wowed the graduating students and audience by adding music to her message. They smiled and clapped along as she belted out - in an impressive blues rendition - "The CCCC Graduation Blues" with lines such as, "Don't turn into a machine - reflect, relate, contemplate." Her listeners loved it.
Student speakers at the morning graduation were Karen Diaz, of Harnett County, and Tarrel "T.J." Laubach, of Wake County. Diaz received Associate in Applied Science degrees in Laser and Photonics Technology and in Computer Engineering Technology; Laubach received his A.A.S. degrees in Industrial Systems Technology and IST/Bio-Maintenance, as well as a diploma and several certificates.
Student afternoon speakers were Lee County residents Jessica Cooper, who received an Associate of Arts degree, and Sheila Coffer, who received an A.A.S. in Criminal Justice Technology.
All the speakers urged the graduating class members to continue to value the quality education they received and lessons they learned at CCCC and to use them as the foundation for success in school, in work, and in life.
Cooper quoted a comment by basketball great Michael Jordan about his many failures during his career, including losing 300 games: "I've failed over and over and over again in my life - and that is why I succeed."
Cooper compared Jordan's continued striving to succeed in basketball in spite of failures to the graduating students' efforts: "If there was some obstacle or failure that has happened, we have obviously overcome it to be sitting here today," she said. "So, a big thank you on a winning season to all our teammates, our educational coaches, my personal trainers and all fans who have supported us, many of whom are here today. Congratulations Class of 2012! Game on!"
The graduates and crowd cheered and applauded their approval.
During the graduation sessions, the college recognized those students who achieved the highest grade point average in the degree and diploma programs: A.A.S. - Derrick Burgess, Lydia Farmer, Leslie Leamons, Lee Remaley, Frances Tew, Michael Williamson, Tricia Williamson, Janice Campbell, Samantha Carter, Sheila Coffer, Chad Kaczmarczyk, and Christine Lavelle; A.A./A.S. - Jacob Cowfer, Kevin Julich, Janet Lanier, and Tiffany Little; and Diploma - Christy Bennett, Amy Croom, Peggy Manning, and Dana Birdsong.
At the end of the exercises, the audiences stood, holding balloons and flowers for their graduates and snapping pictures as the Class of 2012 proudly walked out. The graduates reunited with their well wishers and loved ones in the Civic Center foyer, sharing hugs, smiles, and some happy tears.
"I didn't think I would ever get here," said a very happy Kelly Warren, of Lee County. She received her A.A.S. in Computer Information Technology. She hugged her parents, then smiled as she thought of all the late-nighters, exams, and worries she had gone through to reach her goals. Now, holding in her hand her degree and a number of certificates she had earned with all that work, Warren smiled and said, "I enjoyed every minute of it!"
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