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CCC&TI celebrates 2019 graduates

HUDSON, NC (May 10, 2019) — Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute honored a total of 708 graduates from its Caldwell Campus in Hudson and Watauga Campus in Boone during two ceremonies held Friday evening at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir.

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute graduates celebrate during Friday’s ceremony, which honored 708 graduates from its Caldwell and Watauga campuses at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir.

CCC&TI Board of Trustees member Tom Thuss opened the ceremony by welcoming special guests, congratulating the graduates and listing the college’s accomplishments over the last year.

The Class of 2019, Thuss noted, included:

  • 708 total graduates, including 306 first-generation college graduates

  • Graduates ranging in age from 16 to 60, with the average age being 25
  • Eight Dream Scholars; and
  • 58 TRIO/Student Support Services graduates.

CCC&TI Board of Trustees member Ann Smith presented this year’s Trustees’ Student Awards of Merit to Lance Rotting and Kimberly Baldrich. The awards are selected based on faculty nominations for outstanding academic achievement, extracurricular activities and community service.

Graduates of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute turn their tassels at the closing of the 2019 graduation ceremonies. CCC&TI honored a total of 708 graduates in ceremonies held Friday, May 10 at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir.

Presented by Vice President of Instruction Randy Ledford, the Dr. Donald Lackey Award for Excellence in Teaching was awarded to Aaron Cook, Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Programs. The award honors a faculty member who characterizes personal dedication, concern for student welfare and academic excellence.

The commencement speaker, Raleigh resident Courtney Chavez, shared her personal CCC&TI success story. Chavez enrolled at CCC&TI in 2009 as a single mom who had recently lost her job. She went on to earn two associate degrees at CCC&TI before completing her bachelor’s degree in accounting at Gardner-Webb University. Today, she’s a senior loan origination quality services specialist at the State Employees’ Credit Union in Raleigh and is pursuing a master’s degree at UNC-Pembroke.

“You can accomplish great things because you are not average, you are not ordinary,” Chavez told graduates. “You’re seated here today because you triumphed. … Make your dreams a reality and don’t forget to enjoy your journey.”

Courtney Chavez, a former Caldwell County resident and Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute graduate, was the commencement speaker at Friday’s CCC&TI graduation ceremony at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir.

In his charge to graduates, CCC&TI President Dr. Mark Poarch thanked the college’s  faculty and staff for their hard work, and congratulated the Class of 2019 on a job well done.

“As you leave CCC&TI, my hope is you can leave with a great sense of pride,” Poarch said. “As alumni you will forever be part of the CCC&TI family. I hope you leave this place with a sense of fearlessness and passion … Go with a boldness that will propel you to greatness.”