LCC students celebrate graduation
It was a night of tears of joy and hard work as more than 300 Lenoir Community College graduates participated in the 57th annual commencement honoring the Class of 2019.
LCC President Dr. Rusty Hunt congratulated the Class of 2019 on a job well done.
“This is your day! Your hard work and perseverance has paid off,” he said. “Now relax, take it all in, and enjoy as we celebrate with each of you on this tremendous milestone in your life. We are so very proud of you.”
Three students were recognized for achievements. Graduate Jennie Tolar was the recipient of the Dallas Herring Award; it was established by the North Carolina Community College System to honor the late Dr. Dallas Herring, one of the state’s earliest advocates of community colleges. The award is bestowed annually upon a student who best embodies Dr. Herring’s philosophy of “taking people where they are and carrying them as far as they can go.”
Graduate Owen White was recognized as the Gov. Robert Scott Leadership Award highlighting outstanding curriculum student leadership and service and student Yan Zhang was this year’s Academic Excellence Award recipient for outstanding academic achievement.
SGA President and graduate Jacob Howard delivered the student address acknowledging the hard work it took to arrive at graduation.
“No matter what it was that was in your way, you persevered and made it through,” he said. “Keep this persevering attitude with you as you go through every stage of your life, whether you are transferring to another institution, applying into a new job or enlisting into the military.
He continued, “Remember to always persevere through any challenge just as you have here at LCC. A quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sums up this point perfectly by stating, ‘If you cannot fly, then run. If you cannot run, then walk. If you cannot walk, then crawl but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.’
“Crossing this stage today is only the beginning of your journey, I wish the best for each of you for your future endeavors wherever they bring you and congratulations class of 2019.”
Judge Imelda Pate, the commencement speaker, praised the graduates for their accomplishments and advised them to navigate their future with a GPS approach to life.
“You are now beginning your calling card, your resume,” she said.
“The road that lies ahead of you I will tell you will not always be easy. There will obstacles, missed exits, potholes, there will be roadblocks. There will be times each of you will feel like you just cannot go on. There will be times that you think you are alone, but you are not alone. We are all in this journey together.”
“We have made it this far, you have made it this far and you know that nothing worthwhile is ever easy,” Pate said. “On this journey, I would say to you from today extend kindnesses to people wherever you are. Give them a smile when you see someone whether you know them or not.
“Ask how they are doing ask if you can be of assistance to them.. kindness is never forgotten. we may forget what we say to someone but we will never forget that person’s act of kindness to us. And we can be kind even during the most unpleasant experiences.”
Pate advised the graduates to pour their hearts and souls in everything they try to do and if they don’t succeed, it’s OK.
“It’s OK to feel bad. It’s OK to feel bad. It’s OK to take time to mourn, to reflect on what happened and how you can be better,” she said. “Learn from your mistakes. Because every experience encountered on your own, will teach you and force you to be a better person. The key to our lives should be the development of an internal moral and emotional GPS that lets you know the right way to go.