Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Virginia First Lady Pam Northam – Speaking at Southside Virginia Community College Commencement in Keysville, May 12


“Whether you are young and just starting out, or just young at heart and reinventing yourself, change is rarely an easy thing to do. It takes courage, you have to dare greatly, to step out into new territory. But as Virginians we have always been explorers, revolutionaries, and innovators. I saw a great graphic that said “a ship is safe at harbor…but that is not what a ship is built for”. We are at our best when we are challenging ourselves and that’s what brought you all here today.”  





Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, spoke at Commencement exercises at Virginia Highlands Community College, May 11


“The credential you earn today is a symbol of the skills, the knowledge and the expertise you’ve gained.

“You’ll be putting all of that to use before you know it. When you do, you can inspire others. You can do that by demonstrating, yourself, the mutual respect and the ability to reason that has created the better moments of our nation’s history.

“There’s too much shouting today. There’s too much name-calling. There’s too much anger.

“The responsibility falls to us, as educated people, to elevate our shared dialogue and to restore sanity and civility to every exchange so that we may all move forward.”



Seen with Dr. John Dever, TNCC President, Dr. Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, spoke at TNCC Commencement May 10


“Life’s Little Instruction Book said, ‘be as kind to the janitor as you are the Chair of the Board.’  Remember that everyone in an organization, no matter their title or how much money they make, has a role to play and that unless everyone does their job effectively, the organization will be unable to excel.  Try and stay humble and don’t believe your own PR for without your co-workers, you can’t succeed.

“And remember learning is a lifelong phenomenon. Though you will be awarded a college degree today, don’t stop learning. No question is too stupid to be asked.”





Student Government Association president Clay Sweet delivered the student address during Wytheville Community College commencement exercises May 12.


“You may not always feel it, but I promise you—you matter. If you have children, you mean the world to them. If you have close friends, you are the person that puts a smile on their face each day. You have the ability to change not only your life, but the lives of everyone you come in contact with.

“Every one of us has been given special gifts that we can use every day.  The next time you find yourself in a panic, whether it’s worrying about a deadline or overwhelmed by the stack of work on your desk, just remember, you’ve got this! It is hard, and I know the feeling, but a little bit of confidence in yourself enables your abilities to shine through.” 




Falicea Dawson, student speaker at PDCCC commencement exercises in Franklin May 11, graduated with honors with an associate’s degree in general studies.



“I had to decide that failure was not an option, I had to remind myself daily that I could not ask those two beautiful children of mine to do something that I myself wouldn’t do. I now know that I am capable of anything I truly put my mind to and that the only way I can succeed is to try.

“So, today I would like to say to all the graduates through it all, WE made it. And whether your next stop is another degree or entering the workforce, remember to tell fear that failure is NOT FATAL.  So, turn your dreams into reality and know that every end starts a new beginning. Today is ours!”'

Virginia's Community Colleges

Created more than 50 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 270,000 students a year in credit and workforce courses.

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