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ACC Honors 789 Graduates at Virtual Commencement, Nurse Pinning Ceremony

Happy Associate Degree Nursing graduates posed for family photos following the outdoor pinning ceremony on campus May 14.

Happy Associate Degree Nursing graduates posed for family photos following the outdoor pinning ceremony on campus May 14.

Alamance Community College conducted a virtual commencement ceremony on May 14, providing graduates of Curriculum and GED/Adult High School programs the opportunity to celebrate with family in the comfort of their own homes.

For the second consecutive year, a virtual ceremony replaced the traditional on-site event due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.

The College conferred degrees, diplomas and certificates on 789 graduates, a total that represents 685 Curriculum (degrees/diplomas/certificates), 80 GED/HiSet, and 24 Adult High School.

Some highlights:

  • The College conferred credentials on 105 high school students taking college credit classes through the free Career and College Promise (CCP) program.
  • 208 received Honors and 123 earned High Honors among the total curriculum graduates.
  • 15 GED/HiSet students earned Honors.
  • Patrick Henry was the top GED testing student.
  • Nathan Thacker was the top Adult High School student with a 4.0 GPA.

For the virtual commencement ceremony, messages and presentations from ACC President Algie Gatewood and others were pre-recorded this month and shown via streaming on the college website. Graduates were invited to post videos of themselves seeing their names scrolled on the screen, turning their tassels in unison at Dr. Gatewood’s invitation, and celebrating their achievement.

Among other features of the ceremony:

  • Adam Schechter, the Chairman and CEO of Labcorp, Incorporated, delivered the commencement address. Mr. Schechter joined Labcorp after a long and distinguished career at Merck, where he served as executive vice president and president of global human health. LabCorp operates from its headquarters in Alamance County but has facilities in more than 100 countries with more than 70,000 employees. Under Mr. Schechter’s watchful eye, LabCorp has been named to Fortune’s List of World’s Most Admired Companies, and earned the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Mr. Schechter is also a committed and dedicated public servant. He currently serves as board chair for Water.org and is an executive board member for the National Alliance for Hispanic Health.
LabCorp CEO Adam Schechter

LabCorp CEO Adam Schechter

In his pre-recorded remarks, Mr. Schechter told the ACC Class of 2021:

  • “Many of you are planning your future.  From my own experience, my advice is don’t let surprises limit you—be prepared for them and embrace opportunities along the way.”
  • “Be a lifelong learner.  Assume the world will keep changing, and your degree is the foundation for your future.  Be curious.  Absorb the world around you, learn from people who are different from you, and keep asking questions.  Take roles and responsibilities that challenge you and may seem daunting.  Remember that the wider and stronger your base, the taller your pyramid will be.  Build a strong foundation of experiences.”
  • “Keep ethics and integrity at the forefront of all you do. Know when you go to bed at night that you did the best you could, worked as hard as you could, and not only accomplished your goals, but did so in the right way.  Look in the mirror and know you did the right things for the right reasons.”
Nursing students proceeded into the pinning ceremony in formation during the outdoor, socially-distanced event on May 14

Nursing students proceeded into the pinning ceremony in formation during the outdoor, socially-distanced event on May 14

Associate Degree in Nursing Pinning Ceremony

An hour prior to the virtual commencement ceremony, the Associate Degree in Nursing department held an in-person pinning ceremony outside the Allied Health/Powell Building. The College observed CDC-recommended safety protocols as it did last year for this event, with nursing graduates and their families watching and participating from lawn chairs in the parking lot. In all, 20 nursing graduates received pins signifying completion of their training prior to becoming Registered Nurses.

  • This year’s class of ACC nursing graduates have already accepted jobs in such prestigious positions as Duke Medical Center Cardiology Unit, UNC Hospital Neuroscience ICU, Cone Memorial Hospital Maternity Unit, ARMC Emergency department, and continuing their education in UNCG’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.