|RCC Student Government Association President and 2019 graduate Toni Formato speaks to her classmates at the May 9 Curriculum Graduation in Greensboro.|
ASHEBORO (May 17, 2019)
Toni Formato looked out at a sea of blue caps and gowns Wednesday and asked her classmates to raise their hands if they had ever been told they couldn’t do something. The sea turned into an ocean of raised arms and nodding heads.
“The whole reason you are sitting here today is you never gave up,” she said.
The surroundings may have been new, but the familiar cheers, smiles and tears — and, of course, pomp and circumstance — were ever-present as close to 300 Randolph Community College graduates crossed the stage to receive their degrees, diplomas, or certificates Wednesday, May 8, at the Fieldhouse at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Family members and friends filled the venue while others watched the ceremony via live video feed. All witnessed the blue mortar boards — some bedazzled with phrases like “Bad to the Bone,” “My Turn to Teach,” “Rad Grad,” and “Pray Slay” and others decorated with flowers and Pantone swatches.
|Guest speaker Peter Hans, North Carolina Community College System President, addresses the crowd.|
|No doubt this graduate's mom is smiling.|
Formato, Student Government Association President and now a 2019 graduate, gave the opening remarks and the invocation. She earned an Associate in Arts degree and will attend UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall.
RCC President Dr. Robert Shackleford Jr. welcomed the 2019 class, leaving them with a piece of advice: “Don’t let anyone limit, in your mind, what you want to be.”
Shackleford then introduced guest speaker Peter Hans, North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) President, who welcomed the “sea of Armadillos” and said he hoped to provide the graduates with “good advice for a good life.”
“Find what you love and then find a way to make money doing it,” said Hans, who grew up in Southport and Hendersonville before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies from Harvard University.
“Time is a precious resource — use it wisely. You aren’t saying ‘Goodbye’ to learning; invest in yourself. Lastly, keep your family and your friends and your faith close.”
Vice President for Instructional Services Suzanne Rohrbaugh presented the candidates for graduation, and Curriculum Programs Dean Melinda Eudy; Arts, Social Sciences and Public Services Division Chair Grey Lane; Health Sciences Division Chair Tina Dixon, and Design Programs Department Head Lisa Hughes read the graduates’ names. RCC Board of Trustees Chairman F. Mac Sherrill awarded the degrees, diplomas, and certificates, and gave the declaration of graduation, and Vice President for Student Services G. Chad Williams closed the ceremony.
The graduation faculty marshals were Religion Instructor Kimberly Maddox, Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology Department Head Dan Moore, and Cosmetology Instructor LaTia Hairston, and the staff marshals were Assistant Director of Admissions, Records and Registration Deanna L. Schrader, Director of Student Success Counseling Susan Scott, Facilities Technician David Shields, and Director of Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs Joel Trogdon.
More than 650 students applied to graduate with their associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates this spring. Actual graduate numbers fluctuate because some students are completing exams up until the last minute before graduation, and others, who actually finish their degrees in the summer semester, are allowed to walk at the spring graduation.
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