For the second time since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Tidewater Community College will hold its commencement exercises in person. This year’s ceremony will be held on May 9 at 6 p.m. at Chartway Arena on the campus of Old Dominion University.
More than 1,300 students will graduate, including 143 students who have earned degrees or certificates one month before completing high school thanks to dual enrollment.
The Speaker for the Graduates is Allison Wilson, a dual enrollment student from Churchland High School. At 17, she is earning an Associate of Science in Social Science.
“Coming to TCC while still in high school was a great way to get started on college and save money. I had a great support system with my parents and grandparents,” Wilson said. “I gained study skills that will take me through all my years in college.”
In the fall, Wilson is transferring to William and Mary where she will study English and pre-law. She hopes to attend law school and one day be a state prosecutor.
The graduation speaker is TCC Board Chair Cynthia “Cindy” Free. A TCC alum, Free began her academic journey on the Virginia Beach Campus earning an Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapy in 1986. A Hampton Roads native, Free is a member of the Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists Physical Therapy team. At the practice she manages and coordinates industrial rehabilitation, workers compensation, return to work practices, disability examinations, inventory, quality standards, students and personnel matters.
In September 2015, the Virginia Beach City Council appointed Free to the TCC College Board. Since her appointment, she has participated in commencement exercises, college convocations, Virginia Community College System legislative receptions, dedications, groundbreakings and other college events. In addition, Free has actively served on the College Board’s Finance and Facilities Committee, the Executive Committee, chaired the Advocacy Committee and TCC Educational Foundation, as well as served as Board chair since 2019.
Free has a passion for dance and graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She has danced at ODU and at the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center.
Commencement will be streamed live at tcc.edu/commencement.
For more information about graduation, visit here or call 757-822-1111.