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Davidson-Davie Community College Celebrates 1,120 Graduates at Commencement Ceremony

Davidson-Davie Community College Celebrates 1,120 Graduates at Commencement Ceremony 

May 9, 2024 – Davidson-Davie Community College celebrated the hard work and accomplishments of 1,120 graduates in today’s commencement ceremony, held at the Davidson Campus. Collectively, the college awarded 1,365 credentials – including 610 associate degrees, 126 diplomas, and 629 certificate and pathway completions.

The number 1,120 signified a “magic number” in the eyes of Jenny Varner, president of the college. In her first graduation as president following her appointment in November, she noted the large graduating class represented not only 1,120 unique sets of talent, across hundreds of careers – it represented so much more.

2024 Commencement

In her remarks to the audience, which included graduates, family, friends, faculty and staff, community leaders and more, she reminded the graduates that they are the future. “You represent the future of our community, the future of our small businesses, our healthcare system and emergency responders, our manufacturing industries and skilled trades, our childcare centers and schools, and so much more,” Varner said. “We say ‘the future is here’ when we encourage students to come to Davidson-Davie Community College, and now the future is yours.”

2024 Commencement

Davidson-Davie celebrated turning 60 last year, and Varner observed how far the college has come in that time. “Thanks to local citizens back in the early 1960s who believed that we needed a higher education option here, this tract of land was obtained. …We opened our doors with 125 students and within a year had our first graduation ceremony,” Varner said. “There were about 75 people total – graduates and their guests – at the reception following that first ceremony. … Compare that to 1,120 graduates today.”

In that time, the college has consistently been recognized as one of the top high-performing and award-winning colleges in the state, noted Bill Steed, chairman of the College Board of Trustees. He expressed appreciation to the entire college family – including students, faculty and staff, as well as trustees, the Foundation Board and members of the community – who tirelessly support the college. “We are the community’s college, here to meet the needs of all who walk in our doors and committed to helping our community thrive,” he added.

The college honored several students during the ceremony, including the first Hartness Student Success Scholarship, in memory of the college’s late president, Dr. Darrin Hartness, who passed away last summer. The inaugural winner of the Hartness Scholarship went to Emma McDaniel, who earned an associate in arts degree in teacher preparation. 

Other awards and student success scholarships went to:

  • Ginger Wright, Academic Excellence Award;
  • Rebekah Watts, the Dallas Herring Achievement Award nominee;
  • Fatima Nadeem, the Governor Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award nominee;
  • Tiffany Powell, the Robert Bruce Smith, Jr. Student Success Scholarship;
  • Cadyn McKenna Martin, the Mountcastle Insurance Student Success Scholarship;
  • Anna Fergerson, the Paula Mathews Turlington Student Success Scholarship;
  • Sophia Hedrick, the Mary E. Rittling Student Success Scholarship;
  • Robert Moss, the Applied Sciences/Skilled Trade Student Achievement Scholarship; and
  • Trent Sink, the Applied Sciences/Skilled Trade Student Achievement Scholarship.
2024 Commencement
2024 Commencement

Following the conferral of degrees, Valeria Muñoz Cabral, Student Government president, remarked the importance of the occasion, adding that commencement is a time to celebrate accomplishments and start a new chapter. “Life is all about risk, and whether you start early or late, you should always, as Norman Vincent Peale says, ‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars,’” Cabral said. “I love to tell this to anyone willing to listen. Live in the moment and enjoy everything you are doing, because it’s worth it in the end. …I assure you, this is just the beginning of something beautiful.”

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.

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Jared Bowman
Associate Vice President, Marketing & Communications