RCCC celebrates 60 years by awarding nearly 1,600 degrees, diplomas and certificates

Published 12:10 am Saturday, May 18, 2024


SALISBURY — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College marked a significant milestone with the successful completion of its 60th graduation ceremony on Friday at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center in Concord.

Graduates participated in a traditional ceremony, wearing their caps, gowns and honorary regalia, with over 4,200 family, friends, and other guests seated in the audience. The college also streamed the ceremony live on its Facebook page.

More than 400 curriculum, high school equivalency and adult high school graduates actively participated in the ceremony. The graduates ranged in age from 16 to 65, with the average age being 23.

More than 1,200 students were eligible to participate in the graduation ceremony who earned 1,587 associate degrees, diplomas and certificates and over 100 high school equivalency and adult high school students who completed their diplomas.

The event celebrated students who earned degrees through one of the college’s programs, including associate in arts, associate in engineering, associate in science, associate in fine arts in visual arts, associate in applied science and associate in general education. Additionally, the ceremony recognized students eligible for various program-specific diplomas and certificates, along with those who fulfilled high school equivalency or adult high school requirements.

“As we celebrate our 60th commencement, we are reminded of the rich history and tradition of excellence at Rowan-Cabarrus. Each of you has added to this legacy with your hard work, dedication and persistence,” said Dr. Carol Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant delivered the commencement address, congratulating the graduates on their accomplishments and encouraging them to continue pursuing their dreams with determination and resilience.

“I am here to convince you that if I can do it, you can do it too. Navigate forward, stay true to your goals, and never underestimate your potential to achieve greatness,” Hinnant said.

Tabitha Harry, parliamentarian of the Rowan-Cabarrus Student Government Association and the Central Division Chair for the statewide Student Government North Carolina Comprehensive Community College Student Government Association Executive Board, served as the student speaker. Harry graduated with an associate in arts degree and plans to transfer to Wesleyan University to pursue a degree in organizational leadership.

“Success is not tied to location or circumstances but rather to your mindset, your actions, and your attitude. Wherever you go, success can follow,” said Harry. “Dream big, do the work and achieve the impossible.”

In addition to celebrating graduates, the college also recognized its nominees for three prestigious community college state awards:

  • Rachel Parton, Academic Excellence Award
  • Richard White, North Carolina Dallas Herring Achievement Award nominee
  • Tabitha Woodall, Governor Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award nominee

Aaron “Brad” Scott was also recognized as the Excellence in Teach Award recipient for full-time faculty members.

“This year’s graduation is not just a culmination of years of study but a testament to the enduring spirit and ambition of our students,” Spalding said. “It is not just a celebration of their academic achievements but also of their resilience and commitment to shaping a brighter future for themselves and their communities.”

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, go to www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).