Four days before Christmas, Tidewater Community College celebrated its 71st Fall Commencement Exercises virtually.
The full stream of the ceremony is available here.
“This celebration demonstrates the tenacity and strength of our students and the TCC community,” said TCC President Marcia Conston, presiding over her second virtual commencement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Conston acknowledged the college’s military-related students, who make up one-third of enrollment and she commended the faculty and staff for their role in student success. Several faculty and staff members also recorded “shoutout” videos offering their congratulations to the 1,206 graduates.
Many applauded the resilience of the graduates to complete their journeys despite the pandemic. Faculty members from the ESL Department congratulated the students in multiple languages.
The ceremony featured two student speakers — Grace Motley, a Women’s Center STEM Promise Program scholar, who received her Associate of Science in Computer Science and Joseph Baca, who earned his Associate of Science in Social Sciences.
“I cannot even begin to describe the many life lessons I have learned, and I am sure I am not alone,” said Motley, who thanked the professors and STEM Promise Program coordinator Jaedda Hall who helped her complete her degree.
Baca embraced the “community” part of being a TCC student, acknowledging his peers, professors and faculty members for helping him persevere. “Know there is no timetable on experience in life, but we must have the courage to face it,” he said.
Michelle Woodhouse, TCC’s vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer, presented the 1,026 graduates. President Conston conferred the degrees.
Prior to the ceremony concluding with a benediction, alumna Rickkita Taylor, recently a guest on “Ellen,” welcomed the college’s newest graduates to join an alumni network that is more than 100,000 strong.
“We are embedded in the fabric of Hampton Roads and are so proud of you for persevering and finishing strong,” she said. “I encourage you to take advantage of your achievement by attending networking events and embracing all the opportunities offered by TCC Alumni to “connect, contribute and celebrate!’ ”
All graduates had their names and corresponding degrees or certificates scroll on screen.