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RCC celebrates students at 2023 Curriculum Graduation

Picture of a nursing graduate's decorated mortarboard.
A nursing graduate’s decorated mortar board is displayed as the graduates wait to line up at Randolph Community College’s 2023 Curriculum Graduation, held Wednesday, May 10, at the Special Events Center of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.

Hundreds of Randolph Community College students took a huge step in their journeys — and across the stage — Wednesday, May 10, as the College held its 2023 Curriculum Graduation. In all, more than 200 students took part in the ceremony at the Special Events Center of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. The event marked a transitional period for RCC as the College announced the hiring of its seventh president, Dr. Shah Ardalan, the day before.


RCC graduate Jeremy Grant, Product Marketing Director of LendingTree and Founder and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Knocked-Up Money, gives the commencement address.

RCC graduate Jeremy Grant, Product Marketing Director of LendingTree and Founder and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Knocked-Up Money, gave the commencement address. He shared three questions with the graduates for them to take with them — What will your vision be?, What will motivate you?, and What will you put your faith in? — and shared his life story.

“Today is a defining day,” Grant said. “Reflect on all the things you've done that have led to this moment. You are graduating. You have the grit to accomplish your goals. You've proven that just by being here and now for the terrifying and exciting question: What's next? Believe in yourself because you are awesome. Look at what you've accomplished.

“Entrepreneur Jim Rohn is known for his belief that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. I'm not sure if five is that magic number. I believe in the sentiment, ‘Iron sharpens iron.’ Surround yourself with others who can help you learn and grow. Look around you. This is your community. Help each other on your journey and never forget your time here at RCC. If you see someone struggling, lend a hand and help lift them up You may be graduating today, but your relationship with RCC doesn't have to end build on your foundation to crush whatever goals you set for yourself.”

Interim President Elbert Lassiter opened the ceremony with a welcome, thanking the Graduation Committee; introducing the College’s Board of Trustees, Senior Leadership Team, faculty, and staff, and recognizing special awards and honors earned by the graduates.

“It’s a happy time, it’s a joyous time, and I’m extremely proud of you,” Lassiter said. “I’m proud to be a part of this moment with you. As you move into the next phase of your life or your career, remember the values that you received here at Randolph Community College — a commitment to lifelong learning, a respect for diversity, and a dedication to service. Go forth and make a difference. If you see something that needs to be changed, have the courage to change it.”

RCC Student Government President Kassandra Ciriza Monreal gave the opening remarks, first thanking her parents for their support.


SGA President Kassandra Ciriza Monreal, who gave the ceremony’s opening remarks and invocation, receives her degree.

“I believe everything happens for a reason,” she said. “People change, so you learn to let go. Things go wrong, so you learn to appreciate them when they go right, and sometimes good things fall apart so things can fall together. Trust that everything happens as it should — every moment, decision, choice, encounter, person, mistake, lesson, step forward, step backwards, heartbreak, love, failure, dream. These are the little dots that make up the sum of your entire life.

“One day, you will be able to connect all the dots between each part of your life. When you do, you will realize that, without just one of those dots, you would not be the person you are today. Every step you take is one step closer to where you're supposed to end up. Remember that when you are feeling lost and scared. You'll once again look back and realize that you made it just fine.”

After Monreal delivered the invocation, Lassiter introduced Grant, and RCC Vice President for Instructional Services Suzanne Rohrbaugh followed Grant with the presentation of candidates for graduation.

“Today, we're here to celebrate you and it's all about you,” she said. "We hope that you'll take a moment to look around. Take it all in, enjoy it. You may see folks here tonight who you'll never see again, and, hopefully, your paths will cross again, but if not, you've made lifelong friendships one way or another.

“I also want to personally congratulate you all and be the first to say to you, to the class of 2023, I wish you great success in the years ahead.”

Friends and family members cheer for a graduate.

The graduates then crossed the stage one-by-one to receive their degrees, diplomas, and certificates. Board Chair F. Mac Sherrill announced the awarding of all three, and Vice President for Student Services Chad Williams closed the ceremony.

“Thank you for making the most of this opportunity to further your education,” he said. “Thank you for celebrating your accomplishments with us tonight and thank you for choosing to be a part of our family here at Randolph Community College. Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me, and I didn’t have the heart to let him down,’ Each of you can probably think of at least one person in your life about whom you could share these same words today. I encourage you to take a moment right now to look around at those sitting next to you. Think about all of your family and friends here with you tonight, as well as those watching online. Capture this moment and reflect on those who have helped you along the way.

“While you may all leave here tonight and go your separate ways, you'll forever have a special bond as a graduate of Randolph Community College. Congratulations, you did it, and we are so proud of you.”

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