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TCC welcomed Dr. Thomas R. Morris to Dec. 19 commencement

Graduation Ceremony

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (Dec. 20, 2006) – Tidewater Community College celebrated its 43rd graduation exercises on Dec. 19 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk.

TCC President Deborah DiCroce, who praised both students and their families for perseverance and success, conferred associate degrees, certificates or diplomas on the graduating class, comprised of 1,406 students.

Dr. Thomas R. Morris, secretary of education for the state of Virginia, gave the commencement address, beginning by saying, “I’m a big fan of TCC. . . . I’ve been telling your story wherever I go.” A believer in short, memorable graduation speeches, Morris recommended that graduates embrace three “Vs”: visualize life goals, volunteer, and vote as a key act of citizenship in a democracy. “Take seriously your citizenship and civic responsibility,” he stressed.

To laughter and resounding applause, Morris concluded his talk with a show of juggling, representing balance in life.

Prior to his appointment to the Governor’s Cabinet in January, 2006, Secretary Morris served as the 19th president of Emory & Henry College for 13½ years. A distinguished Constitutional scholar, author and political scientist, he was a full-time faculty member at the University of Richmond for 21 years. Widely known as an expert on Virginia government and politics, Morris served as a political analyst for the media for 25 years. He chaired the Commission on Virginia’s State and Local Tax Structure for the 21st Century and was a member of Gov. Warner’s Commission on Efficiency and Effectiveness.

The student address was given by Nicole Tatarian, a Chesapeake resident, who encouraged graduates to follow their dreams and overcome obstacles with support of educators, co-workers, family and friends. Tatarian plans to pursue a degree in political science at Old Dominion University and attend Regent University Law School. A volunteer with the court system, she serves as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for children.

A firm believer in TCC, Tatarian’s sister is a TCC graduate and her brother is currently enrolled. “It’s been tough juggling work, parenting and school, but it’s been worth it. I leave TCC having gained knowledge, life skills and the confidence to move forward.”

TCC’s 43rd commencement exercises were the college’s fifth December graduation program. Among degrees conferred, 57 percent were an associate of science degree, which prepares students for transfer to baccalaureate institutions.



Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 37,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nation’s 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-four percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit