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News Releases @ TCC

~ Founding Board reflects diverse professions of TCC alums
~ Association launches with 100,000-strong membership

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (Dec. 15, 2010) – Tidewater Community College’s 51st commencement exercises will deliver exciting news to its hundreds of new graduates on Friday, Dec. 17.

The college will announce and celebrate the launch of the Tidewater Community College Alumni Association, marking the immeasurable contributions of the more than 100,000 alumni who have completed 24 or more credit hours at TCC. Those alumni are automatic members of the new association; anyone who has taken classes at TCC – some 500,000 since 1968 – can join upon request (

“TCC alumni are as close as our neighbors, our healthcare providers, our teachers, our safety officers, our auto technicians, our local business owners,” says President Deborah M. DiCroce. “We experience their myriad impacts for the good in our community every day, often without realizing it.

“The Tidewater Community College Alumni Association will help recognize the contributions of our former students to South Hampton Roads and beyond, as well as offer them a new, lifelong connection with their alma mater,” she adds, noting that fully two-thirds of the 100,000 alumni live and work in the region.

Reflecting the wide-ranging careers and professional paths of TCC alumni, the association’s founding Board of Directors range from architect to business owner to childcare-center director to engineer to medical doctor to teacher. Additionally, 9 distinguished public servants among TCC’s alumni – including Assistant to the Governor for Commonwealth Preparedness Terrie Suit, Virginia Delegate John A. Cosgrove, and Virginia Senator Louise L. Lucas – will serve as honorary founding board members.

Other honorary board members include members of two local city councils, a sheriff, a chief of police and two fire chiefs in the cities TCC serves.

Alumni Association President Jerry Ortiz, ’04, invites alumni to get involved and stay connected. “TCC changed my life and those of many others. With the launch of our Alumni Association, we can re-connect with TCC, tap into new programs to advance our careers, and give back to our community and to the college that has given us so much,” he says.

In addition to events that allow alumni to reconnect with each other and the college, TCC will offer alumni programs and services for lifelong learning, growth and career success. The first TCC Alumni Association event takes place at the William & Mary vs. Old Dominion University basketball game on Feb. 26 at ODU.  

Another new tradition will be unveiled with the singing at graduation of the college’s recently discovered alma mater. The song, written in 1972 by Danny Edwards, was unearthed during a review of archival materials prior to the July dedication of the new Portsmouth Campus. First performed there, the Alma Mater is fast becoming an important TCC tradition:

Alma Mater

By Atlantic’s crystal waters, ‘neath the blue Virginia sky,
Stands our noble Alma Mater, where our heart shall e’er abide.
May she always grow and prosper, long may she prevail.
TCC forever onward, Alma Mater hail, all hail.

Also adding to commencement pageantry, the processional will feature banners representing degrees and credentials: Associate of Science; Associate of Applied Science; Associate of Applied Arts; Associate of Arts; Certificate. TCC officially opens and closes each commencement with the faculty marshal bearing a custom-designed crystal mace as part of collegiate tradition.



Laurie White

Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - topped 45,000 students in 2009-10. The 16th highest associate-degree producer in the nation, TCC offers more than 150 programs including business administration, culinary arts, general studies, modeling & simulation, network security, nursing, and automotive technology. Among the fastest-growing two-year institutions in the United States, TCC was 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 Norfolk’s theater district, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth, the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake, and the Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-six percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit