Nash Community College celebrated Curriculum commencement Friday, May 11, 2018 recognizing students for completion of more than 1,000 degrees, diplomas and certificates at the College’s fiftieth graduation ceremony.
James Fletcher “Jim” Goodmon delivered the commencement address. “Whatever you do, do it well,” he said.
In over 40 years that CEO and Board Chairman Goodmon has led Capitol Broadcasting Company, it has become a media industry leader with award-winning local programming and public service; a technology innovator and change agent; as well as leader in efforts to revive downtowns, particularly in Durham and Rocky Mount.
“There is no substitute for hard work,” Goodmon continued. “You can do anything you want to do if you are willing to put in the work. Keep your eye on your compass.”
Student Government Association President Chelsey Blackston addressed the crowd saying, “I moved back to Rocky Mount in 2012. I stepped on NCC’s campus and was immediately drawn in. The campus was in pristine condition and as I walked into the front doors I was instantly greeted by the warm smile and welcome. From the moment I began classes I knew this was where I was supposed to be.”
“To the greatest SGA advisors and family within the 58 community colleges, the wonderful teachers I’ve had over these past few years with all their help,” Blackston continued, “the amazing stories and mock crime scenes Mr. Guyette and Mr. Gelo have held, and the wonderful friends I have made while working at the cafe and on campus, you all are amazing and I would not be here today without all of your support.”
During the ceremony, Robert Elliott of Sanford was recognized as the 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award recipient. The annual award honors a graduate or student who is making outstanding contributions in their chosen profession and service to their community.
Elliott served as an aircraft mechanic in the United States Marine Corps. Following his military service, he graduated from Nash Community College with an Associate in Applied Science degree and established Cypress Hall Farms.
He attended North Carolina State University while returning to work on the farm that has been in his family since the 1800s. He plans to graduate next year with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Environmental Technology from NCSU.
Elliott’s entrepreneurial spirit and work in agriculture led him to develop a niche business selling free-range meat to local customers and establishing a reputation as a resource for veterans transitioning into farming.
“Graduates, when you go out into the workforce, or pursue that higher level of education there will always be those who doubt, and snicker at the power of a community college, Blackston said. “They are the ones who have obviously never set foot on the campus of Nash Community College. It is your job to let it be known, your job to make them see that you are just as good, if not better than the rest. Be proud of all that you have accomplished and all that you will achieve.”
“Some of us thought that we would never be at a community college or any college for that matter, nor that we would be able to call ourselves college graduates. We will not stop, we will not give up or give in, but instead, we will jump and it will be higher than before because we know that we can. We have come thus far and we can keep going because we have nowhere to go but up.”