DCCC celebrates more than 1,500 graduates at 52nd commencement

DCCC celebrates more than 1,500  graduates at 52nd commencement
May 28
00:00 2015

In photo above: Suzanne Walsh presents the keynote speech during the commencement ceremony. (Submitted photo)

Special to The Chronicle 

THOMASVILLE – More than 1,500 graduates completed degrees and certifications as Davidson County Community College hosted its 52nd commencement ceremony on May 16 at the Davidson Campus.

At this year’s graduation, DCCC awarded a total of 2,384 credentials, including 643 associate degrees, 228 diplomas and 1,513 certificates.

Guest speaker Dr. Suzanne Walsh, a community college graduate herself who is now a deputy director of postsecondary education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, addressed the crowd of graduates and guests, offering congratulations and challenging them to continue reaching for their goals.

“I am very proud of our graduates who have worked hard, many overcoming obstacles, to finish the work they started when they enrolled at DCCC. As we celebrate commencement and come to the close of this academic year, I’m also thankful to work among a faculty and staff that provided the supportive environment for students to achieve,” said Dr. Mary Rittling, DCCC president. “I hope our graduates will carry Dr. Walsh’s words of encouragement on with them throughout their academic studies, as they enter the workforce and as they go on to make a difference in our community and the world.”

The Commencement ceremony also recognized one of this year’s outstanding graduates, Mitchell Cleary, an Associate of Arts graduate from Lexington, as the recipient of the Academic Excellence Award. This state-level award celebrates the academic achievements of students in North Carolina Community Colleges.

Cleary, who graduated from DCCC with a 4.0 GPA, was a standout participant in the college’s Scholars of Global Distinction program. He traveled to Peru in the summer of 2014 as part of a study abroad service-learning experience sponsored by the college.

Cleary also has a unique ability and passion for foreign languages. He aspires to pursue a career in linguistics and work as an international diplomat, and was recently awarded a Critical Language Scholarship by the U.S. Department of State. This summer, he will travel to Tangier, Morocco, for Arabic language study and cultural immersion before enrolling at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall.

Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is noted for its quality educational programs and services. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers studies in more than 50-degree programs. A fully accredited, multi-campus college, DCCC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013.

Visit Davidson County Community College at

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