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TCC graduates celebrated during virtual ceremony

With “Pomp and Circumstance” playing and shout-outs from faculty and staff, Tidewater Community College celebrated its Spring Semester graduates with a virtual ceremony held on May 10.

The full stream of the ceremony is available here.

TCC President Marcia Conston

“This celebration demonstrates the tenacity and strength of our students and the TCC community,” said TCC President Marcia Conston, presiding over her third virtual commencement. “Today I acknowledge you – the class of May 2021. You have reached a significant milestone and I am very proud of you and your achievements.”

President Conston acknowledged the college’s military-related students, who make up one-third of enrollment. She also highlighted the college’s 48 Governor’s Medallion recipients who earned TCC associate degrees and certificates while still in high school.

President Conston commended faculty and staff for their role in student success. Several faculty and staff members recorded shout-out videos applauding the resilience of graduates and offering congratulations.

The ceremony featured five student speakers — Athena Jones, Eva Cole and Emmanuel Abuah earned Associate of Science degrees. Steven Dunbar and Dasha Chaney earned Associate of Applied Science degrees.

Student speaker Eva Cole

“The lessons I learned at TCC will follow me for the rest of my life and be a guide for how I live,” said Cole who hopes to one day be a physician.

Student speaker Emmanuel Abuah

“My growth at TCC has not just been educational. Being from a different culture, I struggled with my accent and my lack of social integration,” Abuah said. “TCC provided the cushion I needed to help me settle in and keep me on the path to my degree.” Abuah hopes one day be an astronaut and explore space.

Student speaker Steven Dunbar

Dunbar, a Culinary Arts student added, “Learning that you can meet deadlines is pretty gratifying and looking back and saying, ‘Yes! I did that,’ just feels so good,” Dunbar said. “If I could speak to students coming after me, my message is finish what you start. It’s never too late to accomplish your goals.”

Michelle Woodhouse, TCC’s vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer, presented the 1,470 graduates. President Conston conferred the degrees.

Prior to the ceremony concluding with a benediction, Sara Hair, the college’s coordinator of leadership and development and a TCC alumna, welcomed TCC’s newest alumni.

Sara Hair, TCC’s coordinator of leadership and development.

“Welcome to our association of more than 100,000 alumni. We are embedded in the fabric of the community and are proud of you for persevering and finishing your degree,” Hair said. “Consider this your official invitation to attend our networking events and embrace all the opportunities offered by the TCC Alumni Association.”

All graduates had their names and corresponding degrees or certificates scroll on screen.