CCC&TI Celebrates the Class of 2021

HUDSON, NC (May 10, 2021) — Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute hosted drop-in graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2021 Thursday evening at the Watauga Campus in Boone and Friday evening on the Caldwell Campus in Hudson.

CCC&TI students and their guests usually gather this time of year at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir for a formal graduation ceremony. However, due to COVID-19 gathering limits, CCC&TI shifted this year’s commencement exercises from one large event to two smaller, informal events.

Though the events were smaller, there was no less enthusiasm shown by graduates, their families and friends, and CCC&TI’s faculty and staff.

“The Class of 2021 overcame many obstacles and sacrificed so much to make it to this day,” CCC&TI President Dr. Mark Poarch said, in a message to the Class of 2021 included in the graduation program. “Completing your degree, diploma or certificate is a huge accomplishment at any time. But to do it at the height of a global pandemic, speaks volumes about your determination and grit.”

Thursday’s Watauga Campus ceremony took place in the new Student Services Center, which hosted its first public college event since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. “Pomp and Circumstance” echoed through the Student Commons area as each student marched across the room while CCC&TI faculty and staff cheered them on. Family and friends were able to stand near the stage for taking photos and video. After the formal presentation, students were led to an outside area where they were able to take photos and celebrate with their guests.

Friday’s Caldwell Campus ceremony was held outdoors, with students and their guests lining up on the front sidewalk to await their opportunity to have their name called before advancing to the stage at the center of campus. CCC&TI faculty and staff were gathered across campus to offer applause and congratulations, with family and friends positioned near the stage for photos. Several stations were set up following the formal presentation of their degree or diploma to advance students through the celebration.

Following the ceremony, CCC&TI shifted its focus to the upcoming Summer and Fall Semesters. Final registration for the Summer Semester is Wednesday, May 12 with some classes starting May 17 and most classes beginning in June. The Fall Semester is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, Aug. 18 with final registration taking place Wednesday, Aug. 11. For information on registering for classes at CCC&TI, please call 828-726-2200.

Emily Simmons gets a hug from one of her instructors during Friday’s CCC&TI graduation ceremony on the Caldwell Campus in Hudson.
CCC&TI graduate Casey Drum celebrates after walking across the stage area during Friday’s outdoor graduation ceremony Friday on the Caldwell Campus in Hudson.
CCC&TI president Dr. Mark Poarch gives a fist bump to CCC&TI graduate Tucker Church during Friday’s outdoor graduation ceremony Friday on the Caldwell Campus in Hudson.
Brooklyn Rominger marches across the Student Commons area after being formally recognized at CCC&TI’s drop-in graduation ceremony Thursday on the Watauga Campus in Boone. CCC&TI President Dr. Mark Poarch and Vice President of Academics are in the background.
A group of CCC&TI graduates gather for a group photo outside of the graduation event on the Watauga Campus. From left to right are Jaime Garcia, Addy Isenhour, Lauren Arnold, Francisco Alcaraz and Michaela Waters.
Rebekah Blankley stops for a photo with CCC&TI instructors after marching in Thursday’s drop-in graduation ceremony on CCC&TI’s Watauga Campus in Boone.