May 14, 2021 – In its first commencement ceremony with a new college name, Davidson-Davie Community College celebrated the accomplishments of 2,363 graduates who earned a collective total of 1,217 associate degrees, 408 diplomas, and 1,719 certificates.
“Emotions are running high today as we welcome our graduates and their families to campus,” said Dr. Darrin Hartness, president of the college. “Even though we’ve been able to keep about forty percent 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.’”
Although the ceremony was still 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 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.
“Burr Sullivan’s commitment to Davidson County, our region, and our state has been evident for close to 50 years,” said Dr. Barbara Leonard, a college trustee for over 30 years. “His support for education and our college makes us all proud to call him a great friend of Davidson-Davie Community College.”
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 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! Be proud of yourselves, you have accomplished something amazing!”
Photo 1: Burr Sullivan of Lexington, a member of the State Board of Community Colleges and a longtime friend of Davidson-Davie, became the 11th person in the college’s history to receive an honorary degree, presented by Dr. Barbara Leonard, a trustee for over 30 years.
Photo 2: Proud family members joined their graduates at the modified ceremony and watched them cross the stage.
Photo 3: President Darrin Hartness, joined on the stage by college trustees, congratulated each graduate.
Photo 4: Graduates gathered by the fountain in the courtyard to pose for more photos after crossing the stage.
Davidson-Davie Community College (www.DavidsonDavie.edu), which incorporated Davie County into its name in 2021, is a fully accredited, multi-campus college where students of all ages and backgrounds pursue academic and career-focused education in order to build successful futures. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, Davidson-Davie offers more than 40 degree and professional certificate programs, as well as affordable college-credit coursework to students who plan to transfer to four-year schools. With a mission to serve the changing needs of students competing in a global environment, Davidson-Davie is committed to quality education, innovative and equitable learning experiences, training, and support across a wide range of 21st-century career fields.