“The show must go on,” was Pamlico Community College’s motto for Friday night’s graduation. The rain was heavy, the wind was blowing, but Pamlico Community College’s Delamar Center was packed with proud graduates, families, friends, community dignitaries, and PCC faculty and staff.
Pamlico Community College held its 49th Commencement on Friday, May 13 at 6:30pm. This year, 92 graduates were awarded a degree, diploma, or certificate. A total of 147 credentials were awarded this year, with many graduates earning more than one credential.
This year’s youngest graduate was 16, graduating with credentials earned as a Career and College Promise student. The oldest graduate was 62, graduating with her 2nd Associate degree from PCC.
PCC’s 49th Commencement had graduates from four different states, North Carolina, Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Georgia. Additionally, there were graduates from twelve different North Carolina counties, from Beaufort to Cabarrus.
Sixteen graduates had completed their college work at PCC while still in high school through the Career and College Promise program. This program allows qualifying high school students to earn two years of college credits. These college credits transfer to public and private universities in North Carolina, saving the student time and money.
“We serve a diverse group of students, because our community is diverse,” says Dr. Maria-Fraser-Molina, Interim President. “The demographic variation of our graduates exemplifies our mission as an institution of higher education and our commitment to serving every individual that walks through our doors.”
In keeping with tradition, awards for PCC’s Outstanding Student, Faculty, Staff and Alumnus were all presented at the ceremony. Janna Raynor was received the 2016 Outstanding Student Award. Kathy O’Steen, Instructor of Medical Office Administration, received the 2016 Outstanding Faculty Award. Rick Shelton, Instructor of History, received the 2016 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award. Brandi McCullough, Director of Planning, Research, and Effectiveness, received the 2016 Outstanding Staff Award, and Martha Harper received the 2016 Outstanding Alumnus Award.
Pamlico Community College had the honor of having Dr. James “Jimmie” C. Williamson as this year’s keynote speaker. Dr. Williamson is currently the President of the S.C. Technical College System, and he will serve as the eighth System President for the NC Community Colleges beginning July 1, 2016.
Dr. Williamson delivered an insightful, inspirational address to the graduates that serendipitously correlated to Pamlico Community College’s new tagline, “Discover tomorrow’s possibilities.” Dr. Williamson spoke about life’s difficulties, urging graduates to take those difficulties head on and to find the opportunities and possibilities in every situation.
Sometimes, in the most difficult of situations, there are opportunities. These opportunities, while seemingly small at first, have the potential to grow into life-altering possibilities. At Pamlico Community College, our students fight through life’s difficulties and find those possibilities. Our new tagline highlights and commends our students for their tenacious, inspiring outlook on life. This year’s graduating class exemplifies our tagline, and we could not be more proud of them.