DCCC Celebrates Graduates at 52nd Commencement Ceremony
May 18, 2015 – More than 1,500 graduates celebrated an important milestone toward their academic and career goals – the completion of degrees and certifications – as Davidson County Community College hosted its 52nd Commencement ceremony on May 16 at the Davidson Campus.
At this year’s graduation, DCCC awarded a total of 2,384 credentials, including 643 associate degrees, 228 diplomas and 1,513 certificates.
Guest speaker Dr. Suzanne Walsh, a community college graduate herself who is now a deputy director of postsecondary education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, addressed the crowd of graduates and guests, offering congratulations and challenging them to continue reaching for their goals.
“I am very proud of our graduates who have worked hard, many overcoming obstacles, to finish the work they started when they enrolled at DCCC. As we celebrate Commencement and come to the close of this academic year, I’m also thankful to work among a faculty and staff that provided the supportive environment for students to achieve,” says Dr. Mary Rittling, DCCC president. “I hope our graduates will carry Dr. Walsh’s words of encouragement on with them throughout their academic studies, as they enter the workforce and as they go on to make a difference in our community and the world.”
The Commencement ceremony also recognized one of this year’s outstanding graduates, Mitchell Cleary, an Associate of Arts graduate from Lexington, as the recipient of the Academic Excellence Award. This state-level award celebrates the academic achievements of students in North Carolina Community Colleges.
Cleary, who graduated from DCCC with a 4.0 GPA, was a standout participant in the college’s Scholars of Global Distinction program. He traveled to Peru in the summer of 2014 as part of a study abroad service-learning experience sponsored by the college.
Cleary also has a unique ability and passion for foreign languages. He aspires to pursue a career in linguistics and work as an international diplomat, and was recently awarded a Critical Language Scholarship by the U.S. Department of State. This summer, he will travel to Tangier, Morocco, for Arabic language study and cultural immersion before enrolling at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall.
*Editor’s Note: The first photo features Commencement speaker Suzanne Walsh, Board of Trustees Chair Ken White and DCCC President Dr. Mary Rittling. In the second photo, Walsh presents the keynote speech during the Commencement ceremony. In the third photo, graduate Chris McRee shakes hands with Rittling. The fourth photo shows DCCC’s 2015 graduates, who were among the college’s largest group of graduates ever.
Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is noted for its quality educational programs and services. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers studies in more than 50 degree programs. A fully accredited, multi-campus college, DCCC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 and is looking forward to serving students in Davidson and Davie counties for many years to come. The college is committed to developing minds, inspiring imaginations and preparing students for enhanced career and educational opportunities within a changing global environment. Visit Davidson County Community College at davidsonccc.edu.