THOMASVILLE — In its first commencement ceremony with a new college name, Davidson-Davie Community College celebrated the accomplishments of 2,363 graduates who earned 1,217 associate degrees, 408 diplomas and 1,719 certificates.
Emotions were running high as graduates and their families were welcomed to campus on Friday, DDCC President Darrin Hartness said.
“Even though we’ve been able to keep about 40% of our classes in person over the past year, with the rest online or in a hybrid format, there’s something about being able to look our students in the eye on this special day and say, ‘We are so proud of you, congratulations’,” Hartness said.
Although the ceremony was not a traditional event with a seated audience due to COVID-19 precautions, the families driving onto campus and stopping in front of the stage to see their graduates appreciated their front-row views. A live-stream of graduates crossing the stage also continued throughout the day online at DavidsonDavie.edu/graduation and on Facebook and YouTube.
The commencement ceremony included the awarding of the college’s 11th honorary degree to Burr Sullivan of Lexington, who has served on the State Board of Community Colleges since 2017.
Student awards included the Academic Excellence Award, a state-level honor that went to graduate Greer Fallin, who earned her associate degree in applied science in aquarium science technology.
Graduation scholarships also were awarded to Nathaniel Alston Jr. for the Robert Bruce Smith Jr. Student Success Scholarship; Nathan Brinkley for the Applied Sciences/Skilled Trades Student Achievement Scholarship; Shenna Chaffin for the Applied Sciences/Skilled Trades Student Achievement Scholarship; Cesilly Morales for the Eloise S. Bates Memorial Achievement Scholarship; Sarah Nance for the Betty G. Bunce Memorial Achievement Scholarship; William Rivers for the Mountcastle Insurance Student Success Scholarship; Sarah Tysinger for the Paula Mathews Turlington Student Success Scholarship, and Julie Underwood for the Mary E. Rittling Student Success Scholarship.
Graduate and student government association president Charles Wright reminded graduates of their place in history.
“We are the first graduating class from Davidson-Davie Community College, and our legacy starts now,” Wright said. “Be proud of yourselves, you have accomplished something amazing!”