MONROE – South Piedmont Community College held a virtual graduation May 14 for 295 students earning associate degrees.
More than 2,000 YouTube viewers celebrated the accomplishments of graduates in real time.
“As each of you have navigated the changes that have been thrust upon you, you’ve learned to be tolerant, flexible and patient,” said Maria Pharr, president of South Piedmont. “But at the same time, you have risen to the challenge just as you have done through your educational journey to reach this point of becoming a college graduate.”
Laura Rebolledo, senior and student government association president, congratulated graduates on the first day of their new lives. She encouraged those who may be continuing their education at a four-year university, starting a new career or joining the military to press forward despite any of the current circumstances.
South Piedmont awarded John Hendley with the 2020 Honorary Degree for his contributions to the region. He has served on boards for South Piedmont, Wingate University and Monroe-Union County Economic Development.
“It has been a thrill for me to serve South Piedmont,” Hendley said. “It’s good to see the progress the students have made and always good to help people be successful.”
South Piedmont honored faculty and staff with excellence awards. Students nominated Spanish instructor Angela Tabor-Smith for excellence in and out the classroom.
The 2020 Staff of the Year Award went to Keith Rogers and Carl Bishop.
Rogers, director of fire and rescue training, was chosen for his character, which has allowed for community partnerships to advance student success. Bishop, vice president of academic affairs, was honored for his work in removing barriers for students, including transfer agreements between South Piedmont and Wingate University.