Photo Gallery | Photo gallery: RCCC Graduation
SALISBURY - More than 1,000 graduates received associate degrees, diplomas and certificates at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s 49th graduation ceremony, held Saturday, May 19, at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center. This is the college’s largest graduating class in its nearly 50-year history.
Among the 1,006 graduates were 38 early college students who graduated the night before with their high school diploma and exited the stage with their associate degree. This class of students from Rowan County Early College is the first of the two Rowan-Cabarrus early college programs to graduate.
The Rowan-Cabarrus graduating class of 2012 ranges in age from 17 to 70 (average age is 32), with 66 percent female and 34 percent male. Forty-seven percent of the graduates live in Rowan County, with 39 percent from Cabarrus County and 14 percent from surrounding counties.
Approximately 365 GED students graduated in the college-wide ceremony. GED graduates range in age from 16 to 62, with an average age of 27. Rowan County residents represent 52 percent of the GED graduates with 44 percent from Cabarrus County, and about 4 percent from surrounding counties. More than 59 percent of the GED graduates are male.
“Graduates, I encourage you to commit yourself to a lifetime of learning and to dream big,” Dr. Carol S. Spalding, Rowan-Cabarrus president, said. “I encourage you to spend your valuable time with people who will encourage you to achieve your dreams, not settle for less.”
During her remarks as commencement speaker, Phyllis Wingate, president of Carolinas Medical Center NorthEast (CMC-NorthEast), encouraged students to look to the future with will and determination.
“You are entering the workforce at a very challenging time,” Wingate said. “It is a time that is filled with opportunity if you have the will to take advantage of it.”
Kimberly Greene, 2011-12 Student Government Association (SGA) president, also spoke to the class at graduation.
“Few things in life are worth more than this day. Celebrate the moment and enjoy all that you have accomplished,” said Greene.
Dane Hendrickson, Student Ambassador and Top Scholar award winner was also recognized for receiving the Rowan-Cabarrus 2012 Academic Excellence Award.
“I congratulate each one of you for the accomplishments you have achieved here at Rowan-Cabarrus. In these days, college is a giant leap to a better future,” said Hendrickson in his speech on Saturday. “Unlike 60 years ago where one could gain a job straight out of high school, a college degree is the gold nugget into achieving a job and being successful in life today.”
Serving as graduation student marshals were SGA officers, Phi Theta Kappa members and Student Ambassadors: Jayamacia Almond, Jennifer Glover, James Hopkins, Steve Howe, Lisa Koll, Ashleigh Miller, and Shareen Rustin.
For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu.