DCCC Holds 50th Commencement Exercises, Honors Standout Graduates at the Event

DCCC Commencement 1

May 13, 2013 – Davidson County Community College had much to celebrate during its 50th commencement exercises, held on May 11. Not only did the college award an astounding 1,425 degrees and certificates, the college celebrated standout students Crystal Overcash, who was presented with the North Carolina College System Academic Excellence Award, as well as Abigail Owens, who was presented with the Gov. Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award for the region.

Overcash, who graduated with an Associate Degree in Nursing, was presented the North Carolina College System Academic Excellence Award by Dr. Stuart Fountain, vice chair of the State Board of Community Colleges. She has been busy at DCCC the past couple of years pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a labor and delivery nurse. Overcash explains that her dream became secondary while she raised her young daughter as a single mother. At age 30, though, she was finally able to start college and focus on her goal.

“Juggling school, work and family life has been difficult, and at times, stressful. However, the constant encouragement offered by my instructors at DCCC and the support from my family have helped me persevere,” Overcash says. “As a single, teenage mother, college looked like an unattainable goal. Through DCCC, I’ve been able to fulfill my dream of becoming a nurse.”

DCCC Commencement 2

Dr. Mary Rittling, president of DCCC, commended Overcash’s accomplishment. “Crystal has poured her heart and soul into her academics all while working and taking care of her family. Her accomplishments are admirable; they serve as a true inspiration for others out there who may not believe they can pursue their dreams because of their circumstances,” Rittling says. “It takes a special kind of person to become a nurse, and I believe Crystal will do an outstanding job as she moves forward.”

Overcash, says she’s now looking into Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs, and notes while her journey at DCCC has come to an end, this is only the beginning for her future endeavors.

“Everyone I’ve had contact with at DCCC has had a part in making my dream a reality; they always encouraged me to continue my pursuit,” Overcash adds. 

Owens, who was presented the Gov. Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award by Beth Parrott, chair of the DCCC Board of Trustees, is the first person in her family to graduate from college. During her time at DCCC, she showed she was a true leader, and in fact, served as president of the Student Government Association while carrying a full academic load and holding down three part-time jobs. With her full schedule, she still managed to make the dean’s list by achieving a 3.9 GPA.

DCCC Commencement 3

“Abigail’s leadership extends into the community, where she volunteers for multiple nonprofit organizations,” Rittling notes. “She sets the bar high, and has inspired many others to become more involved in service activities. Abigail is a shining example of excellence in all she does, and is not only deserving of this honor, but she represents the meaning of the Scott Award very well.”

Owens adds that the faculty and staff at DCCC helped her to push to great heights and enabled her to accomplish more than she ever imagined. “I strive to be a leader who leads by example in every aspect of my life, and the presentation of this award inspires me to continue doing so,” she says.

Owens plans to continue her education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall with the goal of becoming a social worker.

*Editor’s Note: The first photo shows Abigail Owens, winner of the Gov. Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award.

The second photo shows notable guests with DCCC President Dr. Mary Rittling at commencement. Pictured from left to right are Beth Parrott, chair of the DCCC Board of Trustees; Joe Bennett, mayor of Thomasville; Tonya Lanier, member of the Lexington City Council; Dr. Mary Rittling, DCCC president; Larry Potts, Davidson County commissioner; and Steve Jarvis, Davidson County Commissioner.

The third photo shows the DCCC Board of Trustees. Pictured from left to right in the front row are Jeffrey Kirkland, Beth Parrott, Barbara Leonard and Dr. Mary Rittling. From left to right in the back row are Cal Cunningham, Mark Davis, Steven Regan, Kristine Lauten, Melanie Crowder, Thom Hege and Neal Foster.

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 celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It 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 on the Web at davidsonccc.edu.