Stanly Community College’s 2015 commencement ceremonies took place on Thursday, May 21st at the Agri-Civic Center in Albemarle. A total of 625 students were candidates for graduation this year. Three separate ceremonies were held at noon, 3:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m., each having a student commencement speaker. The Agri-Civic Center was at capacity with friends and family of the graduates attending each ceremony.
“On behalf of our Board of Trustees, faculty and staff at Stanly Community College, I would like to applaud our graduating class of 2015 and say thank you for entrusting SCC to help them achieve their educational goals,” commented SCC President Dr. Brenda Kays. “We all are very proud of their accomplishments and wish them much success as they enter the workforce or pursue further education.”
Megan Chapman received the Dianne H. Burton Community Service Award; an award created in 2006 to honor the service of the past College registrar. Ms. Chapman graduated with double degrees in Information Systems Security & Networking Technology. Ms. Chapman gave the noon commencement speech that encouraged individuals to always strive for greatness and not be afraid to fail. She said, “In the past few years, I have learned that it’s not an easy road to the finish line. Regardless of anything else, it all comes down to your attitude.” Ms. Chapman has secured employment with Uwharrie Technology, Inc., as an IT Support Specialist.
Outstanding graduate Leah Joyner received the Edward J. Snyder Exceptional Scholars Award; an award named in honor of the second chair of the College’s Board of Trustees. Ms. Joyner earned her Associate in Arts degree and will pursue her Bachelor of Science in Communication at Wingate University. Ms. Joyner gave the 3:00 p.m. commencement speech that defined the “Five P’s for Success” – potential, perseverance, passion, purpose, and preparation. “Wherever you are in life, you have the potential to make a difference in the world. Your perseverance will lead you to experiences you never thought you could do. You can find your passion in the little things you do every day and your purpose in life will be revealed when you least expect it. By attending college you have prepared yourself with parallel skills you will use in the workforce,” said Ms. Joyner.
Outstanding graduate Rashaad Baldwin received the Edward J. Snyder Exceptional Scholars Award. Mr. Baldwin earned his Criminal Justice Technology degree and gave the 6:00 p.m. commencement speech. Mr. Baldwin talked briefly about success and how important education is. “The secret to everything in life, every dream and aspiration, is education. So I charge you today not to look at this as the end of the road, but the beginning of a new journey. Continue to learn and you will continue to grow. Success is knowing who you are, standing up for your beliefs, and being able to inspire the next person to reach for their dreams. Success is about you being courageous in your endeavors, confident in yourself, and caring to treat others the way you would want to be treated,” he explained. Mr. Baldwin’s future plans include pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.
Mr. Garrett Barger earned his Criminal Justice Technology degree and received the Annie Ruth Kelley Leadership Award. This award was created in 2001 to honor the service and leadership of the first chairperson of the College Board of Trustees and the first woman to chair a community college board in N.C. Mr. Garrett has been a North Carolina State Trooper for 16 years and the last seven as a Sergeant stationed in Concord. His future plans include pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.
Mr. Chad Elium earned his Respiratory Therapy degree and received the Dr. George E. Eddins Jr. Award of Distinction in Allied Health Education; an award named in honor of an Albemarle physician whose support of the SCC Foundation has allowed hundreds of students to attend college. Mr. Elium is currently pursuing employment opportunities in the field of respiratory therapy as he finalizes his state board licensing exams.
Mr. Austin Stinson, an Adult High School graduate, received the Shirley Dennis Basic Skills Outstanding Student Award. This award was established in 2002 to recognize an exemplary high school equivalency or adult high school graduate who, while overcoming challenges, remains committed to education and demonstrates leadership skills among peers.
Ms. Kelly Williams, an SCC Alumna, received the Outstanding Alumni Award. Each year, one or more Stanly Community College alumni are recognized for their contributions to the College, the community and their profession. Ms. Williams is a 2012 graduate of the Carolina Auction Academy and is now a licensed auctioneer and an active member of the Auctioneers Association of NC. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at North Carolina State University. She is currently the Social Media Manager and Lead Auctioneer for Eastway Wrecker & Auction Services in Charlotte. Ms. Williams also owns her own online business called Dainty Dots Online Gift Boutiques found at www.DaintyDotsToo.com, which specializes in handmade crafts, custom embroidery and vinyl.
Ms. Xee Cindy Xiong, a Stanly Early College graduate, received the Academic Excellence Award. One student from each of the 58 North Carolina Community Colleges receive this prestigious award for academic excellence. Ms. Xiong earned her high school diploma and Associate in Arts degree and will be attending the University of North Carolina in Wilmington.