Alamance Community College holds virtual graduation ceremony

Dr. Clara Vega, Department Head of Humanities and Fine Arts, cheered on graduates as they picked up caps and gowns on June 5.

Alamance Community conducted a virtual commencement ceremony on June 26, providing graduates of Curriculum and GED/Adult High School programs the opportunity to celebrate with family in the comfort of their own homes. 

The College conferred degrees, diplomas and certificates on 867 graduates, a total that represents 711 Curriculum, 111 GED/HiSet, and 45 Adult High School.

Messages and presentations from ACC President Algie Gatewood and others were pre-recorded this month and shown via streaming on the college website. The virtual ceremony replaced the traditional on-site event originally scheduled on the Elon University campus. The College chose to hold a virtual ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Graduates were invited to post videos of themselves seeing their names scrolled on the screen, turning their tassels in unison at Dr. Gatewood’s invitation, and celebrating their achievement. 

Among other features of the ceremony:

  • Roy Dawson, an attorney practicing in Morehead City, NC, delivered the commencement address. A high school dropout, Dawson earned his Adult High School diploma from ACC in 1999. Following ten years of struggles that included multiple jobs and caring for his ill mother, in 2009 he earned an Associate in Arts degree from ACC as part of the College’s C-STEP program. At UNC Chapel Hill, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and was accepted into the UNC School of Law where he realized his dream of becoming an attorney. Dawson now practices criminal, family and personal injury law as a partner at Gerrans, Foster & Sargeant, P.A. in Morehead City. 
  • Among Mr. Dawson’s remarks to graduates, he said: “Many of you have overcome many challenges to make it to graduation. It is facing and overcoming challenges that forge character. There is little doubt that ACC has helped to shape the character of each of us… I was not the smartest student. But I worked hard. I dedicated myself to fulfilling a dream. It is important to remember, as you go out into an ever-changing world…that you should not place limitations on yourself. Remember to set goals, and when you reach a goal, set a new one. You have already demonstrated an ability to do this with your graduation here today. These habits and skills honed at Alamance Community College will serve you for a lifetime.”
  • Dr. G. Reid Dusenberry III, who retired as a college trustee after 20 years, was announced as Trustee Emeritus. Trustee Chairman Bill Gomery presented a plaque to Dr. Dusenberry for his years of service to the college. Among his contributions, Dr. Dusenberry served as trustee chairman twice, and was a leading member of the Building and Grounds Committee, overseeing the College’s expansion and the construction of four new buildings, including the Advanced Applied Technology Center that opened in 2017. He also serves on the ACC Foundation Board of Directors.He was also instrumental in helping grow the Dental Assisting program.
  • Emily Bronson, a 2015 Animal Care and Management graduate, and current member of the Alumni Council, invited new graduates to continue to support the college as alumni.

The virtual commencement ceremony can currently be viewed from the ACC website homepage: www.alamancecc.edu.