Posted on Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Graduation can be cause for both joyous celebration and fearful trepidation. After all, embarking on a career that will ostensibly sustain oneself for a lifetime can be a scary proposition, one that’s replete with unknowns. Transferring to a four-year university can be equally daunting. The academic challenges that lie in wait may seem insurmountable and the temptation to abandon the quest can prove irresistible.

But, the college experience teaches us many things and when the time comes to summon up the courage to take that first step into uncharted territory, it helps us do so with confidence.

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford

Words of inspiration from one of America’s greatest entrepreneurs seemed appropriate for the week ahead when thousands of Virginia Community College students will move their tassels from right to left to symbolize the completion of one journey and the beginning of another.

Graduating students will receive even more words of inspiration when they are introduced to a variety of dignitaries including former Great Expectations director now Secretary of Education Anne Holton who will deliver the commencement speech at Reynolds Community College on Sunday, May 11th.

Virginia Western alumnus and entrepreneur Russell “Russ” Ellis is scheduled to speak during commencement exercises on Friday, May 9th at the Salem Civic Center. Ellis is a member and past-president of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation.

On Saturday, May 10th, VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois will deliver the commencement speech at Southside Virginia Community College. The following Tuesday, Dabney S. Lancaster will feature Elizabeth Creamer – the newly appointed Advisor for Workforce Development in the Office of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Governor Terry McAuliffe.

On Thursday, May 15th, Doug Blevins is scheduled to speak at Virginia Highlands. Blevins, a 1985 graduate of VHCC, made history in 1994 from his motorized wheelchair when he took a job as kicking consultant for the New York Jets, officially becoming the first handicapped coach in the NFL.

Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade, is slated to deliver the commencement speech at Danville Community College on Friday, May 16th.'

Craig Butterworth

A native of Richmond, Craig Butterworth is an award-winning broadcast journalist and communications professional. He has worked as a spokesperson, staff writer and editor for a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations throughout the Richmond area.

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