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News Releases @ TCC


UVA President Casteen delivers graduation speech

Event video streaming

[ Photo Essay: Commencement, December 2009 ]

John T. Casteen III - Commencement Address ~ video

Jennifer Otis - Student Address ~ video

Presentation of Honorary Degrees ~ video

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (Dec. 21, 2009) – Tidewater Community College’s 49th graduation exercises, led by TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce, took place on Dec. 18 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk. More than 1,700 students were candidates for associate degrees, certificates or diplomas.

TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce
UVA President John T. Casteen III

Portsmouth native, University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III delivered the commencement address, urging students to help drive the engine of recovery for the region. “You and your classmates are the solution,” he said, adding that the education and career-and-technical training they received from TCC have prepared them to be “the agents of an economic recovery,” to be “part of the cure” for the economic recession.

Noting that 91 percent of the graduates live in South Hampton Roads, he spoke of his Portsmouth roots and his family’s long shipyard history. He urged the new graduates to be active in their community: “Seek ways to serve the public interest . . . to make life better for those around you.” And, “Be a generator for good.”

Celebrating her peers and their successes, TCC engineering graduate Jennifer Otis gave the student address, citing her long journey from “economic distress” to a new career with stability for her daughter and goals for the future. Otis, who already uses her new skills in a job with the City of Virginia Beach, is pursuing her civil engineering bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University. 

Student speaker Jennifer Otis

During the exercises, TCC President DiCroce conferred an honorary degree of associate of humane letters upon Casteen and Meyera E. Oberndorf, immediate past mayor of the City of Virginia Beach.

The new graduates will become part of over 50,000 TCC alumni.


Laurie White

Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - will serve a projected 47,000 students in 2009-10. The 15th 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