CCTC Celebrates a Graduation Night of Firsts

As the College celebrates its 50th Anniversary, Central Carolina Technical College enjoyed a night of firsts during its 2012 Commencement.

A record number of 783 students were graduated, among which were the first students to complete the college's new Pharmacy Technician program. The night also included the first Distinguished Alumni Awards, presented by the College's new Alumni Partnership.

The commencement speaker was Dr. Charlene R. Nunley, Professor and Program Director for University of Maryland University College's Doctor of Management in Community College Policy and Administration. During her remarks, Nunley encouraged students to follow three lessons she learned during her educational journey.

"First," Nunley said, "find your passion, and if you can, make it your life's work. Next, thank the mentors who helped you get here, and remember to pay it forward. And finally, always be proud of where you came from."

"You all have very different stories, and you took different paths to get here tonight, but you should be very proud to be graduates of Central Carolina Technical College," she said.

Nunley also took a few minutes to point out the value of and vital role played by Central Carolina and other community and technical colleges across the nation.

"We have heard the slights against community and technical colleges, but donít ever believe it. Here at Central Carolina, lives can be changed dramatically. Students need community and technical colleges and their unique offerings. I believe that we are finally getting the recognition we deserve on a national level."

The commencement program also included a number of special recognitions, including the presentation of the first-ever Distinguished Alumni Awards by the College's new Alumni Partnership. Receiving those awards were Teresa M. "Terrie" Carlton and Jonathan G. Henry.

Carlton earned an Associate Degree in Nursing from CCTC in 1991, and currently serves as the Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President at Tuomey Healthcare System.

Henry earned an Associate Degree in Public Service with an emphasis in Criminal Justice in 2006, and in 2009 he earned an Associate Degree in Computer Technology, both from Central Carolina. He currently serves as a patrolman with the Lynchburg Police Department and owns his own business.

Central Carolina Welding program manager Axel Reis was honored during the commencement ceremony as this year's winner of the E.C. "Red" Kneece Teaching Excellence Award. The recipients of this award are nominated by their peers each year. A committee of faculty, staff, and past recipients then makes the final selection based upon specific criteria that include providing quality instruction, exhibiting academic leadership, promoting collegiality, involvement with students, and being respected within the college community by peers and students.

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© 2014 Central Carolina Technical College

Date/Time Published:5/14/2014 2:08