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Excited graduates mark a milestone


May 19, 2014 — President Edna V. Baehre-Kolovani opened the 58th Tidewater Community College Commencement Exercises on May 16 by asking, “Are you excited to be here?”


The rousing applause from capped-and-gowned graduates and the families and friends there to celebrate them at the Ted Constant Convocation Center provided her answer.

Marcus Baker, John Padgett, Curtis Coy and Edna Baehre-Kolovani

“You have completed an academic journey,” Baehre-Kolovani said. “For many of you, TCC was the first leg of a journey that will take you to a four-year school, and for many of you, it’s the final leg that will advance your career. I am proud of you and your achievements.”


Baehre-Kolovani lauded all 1,772 graduates – of whom more than 850 were in attendance – and acknowledged TCC’s youngest graduates, 18-year-olds Jonathan Zeigler, Alex Mayes and Alexandra Clements, and the oldest, “Gloria Myers, who is a young 84.”


“I spoke to her a couple of days ago,” Baehre-Kolovani said. “She’s already signed up for summer and fall classes.”

Marcus Baker spoke on behalf of the students, and Curtis L. Coy delivered the commencement address.

Baker, who earned his associate of science degree in social science, will attend Norfolk State University as a Links Scholar to pursue a master’s in social work. He talked about refusing to become another disheartening statistic despite growing up in public housing in Portsmouth.


“I even heard notions that children from the projects do not go to college,” said Baker, sporting a brilliant red bow tie. “Today I silence those voices as I stand here a strong man, a responsible father, a trusting mentor, an innovative leader and most of all, a graduate of Tidewater Community College.”


Baker encouraged his fellow graduates to remain focused on their goals, to understand their self-worth and to let their individuality and worth ethic define them, not their credentials.
Student speaker Marcus Baker

Coy, deputy under secretary in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, congratulated the graduates for achieving a significant milestone and recognized the military veterans and their families in the audience, noting, “Out of the 44,000 who attend TCC, almost 14,000 of them have a relationship to the military.”


Military-affiliated graduates for the first time donned red, white and blue honor cords as part of their regalia.

Military-affiliated graduates donned red, white and blue honor cords.
58th Spring Commencement
58th Spring Commencement

Saying that with freedom comes responsibility, Coy reminded the graduates that throughout their journey in life they will find several invitations to responsibility, whether they would be caring for a sick family member, helping a mistreated co-worker, volunteering at a shelter or serving their country.


“How we respond to those invitations is a personal choice,” he said. “There will always be a wrong that needs to be righted.”


He added, “You might not be the next Mother Teresa, but my hope is that you will begin this next chapter in your lives with your eyes wide open to the invitation being addressed to you every single day.”

President Baehre-Kolovani handing out diplomas.

After the conferring of degrees, the TCC graduates received alumni pins upon exiting the stage. Garrett Berger, Alumni Association Board vice president, welcomed TCC’s newest alums into the fold.


“Tonight you join nearly 120,000 alumni worldwide who share a common TCC bond. We hope you will embrace this bond by giving back to those students who will come after you,” he said. “Remember: A commencement is a beginning, not an end. We are confident that you will be successful going forward as Tidewater Community College graduates.”


TCC 2014 Spring Graduation Photos & Videos


Tidewater Community College’s 58th commencement exercises were held May 16, 2014, at the Old Dominion University Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Download Free Graduation Photos on Flickr
TCC campus photographers were out and about at the event, snapping pictures of the graduates and their families.

Download these photos free here

Purchase Your Individual Graduation Photos
Grad Images was on hand to capture graduates’ portraits as they received their diplomas.

Purchase a copy of your individual graduation portrait here. (Portraits will be available for viewing and purchase a few days after graduation.)

Watch the Ceremony
For those who couldn’t attend in person or want to relive the day’s excitement, check out the video on TCC’s YouTube channel.

View the video here

Stay in Touch!
Graduates: Don’t lose touch with Tidewater Community College! Create an Alumni profile to enjoy the benefits of TCC’s Alumni Association and stay connected with the college and your fellow alums.

Click here to create your profile