Monday, 10 August 2020 18:09

RichmondCC provides Class of 2020 with individualized graduations

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Richmond Community College held personalized graduation ceremonies over the course of two days that allowed each graduate to walk across the stage and receive his or her diploma with family and friends watching. It also held traditional pinning ceremonies for its Allied Health programs. Richmond Community College held personalized graduation ceremonies over the course of two days that allowed each graduate to walk across the stage and receive his or her diploma with family and friends watching. It also held traditional pinning ceremonies for its Allied Health programs. RichmondCC

HAMLET — Richmond Community College’s Class of 2020 finally got its long-anticipated graduation this week. Starting Wednesday, Aug. 5, the College kicked off multiple ceremonies over the course of three days to give graduates the celebration and recognition they deserved for completing their programs of study during an extremely difficult year.


RichmondCC had more than 300 students complete degrees, diplomas or certificates this spring or summer semester. Nearly 200 of those students chose to attend one of the graduation ceremonies at the Cole Auditorium. 

“In order to adhere to the state restrictions and recommendations, we provided our graduates and their guests with individual experiences in the auditorium,” said Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC. “We created a personalized graduation ceremony that allowed each graduate to proudly walk across the stage in cap and gown and receive his or her diploma with family and friends watching from their seats. It was our priority to make sure these 2020 graduates got to have the best graduation experience possible.”

After being closed for two months this spring, the College opened its doors back up in May and immediately started working on a plan for students to fully complete technical programs that required face-to-face interaction with instructors and hands-on lab work. 

“I am proud of our faculty and staff for supporting our students and making sure they met all their course requirements,” McInnis said. “This year’s graduation has meaning for the whole College because we all had to make sacrifices and be adaptable during this challenging semester.”

Andrea Kilgo, Practical Nursing class president, said she was grateful for the efforts of the College to stay open for students.

“I would like to thank Dr. McInnis, Mrs. Janet Sims, Mrs. Heather Cox and Mrs. Victoria Witherspoon for their hard work. They worked very hard to guarantee that we could graduate on time. So many schools were not able to do that, but RichmondCC made it happen for us,” Kilgo said during her speech at the Practical Nursing Pinning Ceremony. “Thank you to the many people who took part in the process."

Rebecca Feron, Associate Degree Nursing class president, was also thankful for being able to finish the nursing program that she had worked so hard to complete despite many setbacks.

“I know this is not how we imagined our special ceremony, but this is a prime example of life! You never know what’s going to happen until it happens, and that’s OK,” she said during her speech at the ADN Pinning Ceremony. “What you do next with the situation is really all that matters, and in all reality, now that we are nurses, we know not all things go as planned.”

Several graduates received awards for outstanding achievement in their programs of study. Award winners included:

  • Kayla Luther: Dodd Moore Humanities Award
  • Jenna Warr: Excellence Science Award
  • Caela Goins: Dr. Roberts D. Street Academic Excellence Award for Superior Achievement in Information Technology
  • Christopher Chappell: Joseph D. Beam Excellence in Engineering Award
  • McKenna Griffin: The Richmond County Historical Society Award for Excellence in History

Prior to the individual graduation ceremonies, the College held its traditional pinning ceremonies for its Allied Health programs on Wednesday. Eighty-one Nursing Assistant students and 13 Medical Assisting students received their pins to wear out into the workforce. 

In Practical Nursing, there were 14 students who were honored with pins for completing the program. Receiving awards were:

  • Kawanna Lockler – FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital/Richmond - Compassionate Caregiver Award
  • Dasity Young – Scotland Health Care System – Nursing Service Award
  • Laeshia Smith – RichmondCC Practical Nursing Faculty Award
  • Kyla Chavis – James Edison Sellers Sr. Memorial Nursing Award
  • Andrea Kilgo – Diane Honeycutt Practical Nursing Education Academic Excellence Award
  • Myleka Maxwell – Jerry D. Sims Compassion and Professionalism Award

For Associate Degree Nursing, 41 students were honored with pins for completing the program. Receiving awards were:  

  • Elizabeth Hinson – Harold E. Morrison Compassion and Professionalism Award
  • Kayla Hildreth – Dora Hildreth Sellers Memorial Award
  • Heather Liles – Pediatric Award
  • Stewart “Ray” Green – Scotland Health Care System Nursing Service Award and the Joseph W. Grimsley Humanitarian Award
  • Chelsey Hunt – Scotland Health Care System Administration Award
  • Rosland McDonald and Rebecca Ferron – FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Professional Nursing Awards
  • McKenzie Allen and Kathryn Roller – Scholastic Achievement Award