There was excitement in the air as 2021 Piedmont Community College (PCC) graduates were applauded by faculty, staff, Trustee members, and family during the Drive-Thru celebration of the College’s 50th Anniversary Commencement.

The route was sprinkled with cheering faculty and staff, showcasing the Pacer Pride felt for each successful student driving by with family and friends. “There was a lot of energy during the event and some of us had the opportunity to personally congratulate the graduates as they went by,” shared staff member Martha Pruitt.

Participating graduates received their degree from PCC Board of Trustee Chair, Tanya Evans, along with Dr. Barbara Buchanan, Vice President, Instruction/Chief Academic Officer. Those being celebrated were then photographed with PCC President, Dr. Pamela G. Senegal. During this personal moment, Senegal expressed her enthusiasm for the student’s individual success and future goals.

Before departing, a “Proud Graduate of PCC” yard sign and an Alumni Partnership portfolio, were given to each graduate from the PCC Foundation and Alumni Partnership. Pruitt, along with Trustee members Tony Foster, Connee White, Joel Adler, and Maggie Whitt, shared heartfelt words of wisdom to each graduate.

Following the Drive-Thru, a virtual ceremony was broadcast and nearly 250 degrees, diploma, and certificates were officially awarded.

The first graduates from the Person Early College for Innovation and Leadership (PECIL) program were recognized during this event. Thirty-nine early college students earned a degree, diploma, or certificate, many graduating with honors. A formal PECIL graduation ceremony will be held on May 22 at the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex theater.

During the virtual presentation, President Senegal not only congratulated the graduates, but she also thanked family members for being strong supporters, especially over the last year.

“What a journey you have experienced, Graduates. Not just one of academia but also of varying emotions and likely your own personal ups and downs. Through it all you have demonstrated determination and tenacity, and for that, I am proud!”

Senegal went on to ask grads to share their future good news as they continue to expand their talents and skills. “Our pride in you doesn’t end as you begin your journey away from the College. In fact, we hope you will stay in touch and share your many future successes with the PCC Family.”

Encouraging students to do great things, Senegal mentioned the potential of becoming a future Alumnus of the Year, like the 2020 award recipient Selena Thornton.

A 2006 graduate, Thornton’s commitment to her community is visible through her involvement with the Caswell County Chamber of Commerce, Piedmont Progressive Farmers Group, and PCC Alumni Partnership.

“I believe in you. Why? Because I was exactly where you were.” She went on to say that a PCC faculty member shared their belief in her and she would like to pass the baton on to the 2021 graduates. “Everything you need is inside of you. All you have to do is believe in yourself. I know that you will make an impact in this world.”

– 2020 Alumnus of the Year, Selena Thornton

Thornton addressed PCC’s 2021 graduates, motivating them to pace themselves for success, “I want to congratulate each and every one of you for staying the course, running your race at your pace. I believe that you will achieve [your goals] because you are a Pacer.”

This virtual ceremony can be view at YouTube.com/piedmontcc. In addition, a Facebook Live presentation of the Drive-Thru celebration can be found at Facebook.com/piedmontcc.

Featured Photo: Early College graduate, Gloria AleBeltran with Dr. Pamela G. Senegal at the Drive-Thru Celebration

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