Central Piedmont Holds Spring 2023 CommencementMay 11, 2023
Central Piedmont Community College held its 2023 spring commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 11, in Charlotte. Approximately 900 students "marched" and received their college credentials during the morning and afternoon ceremonies. More than 1,500 students were eligible to graduate.
During the morning festivities at the Bojangles Coliseum, Maria "Fernanda" Moreno Tovar, a 2023 graduate, addressed her peers by delivering the commencement address. RaeDeja Sawyer, also a 2023 graduate, spoke at the afternoon ceremony. It has become Central Piedmont's tradition to have graduating students serve as commencement keynote speakers. Both Maria and RaeDeja were graduating with associate in arts degrees.
Maria shared her experiences and challenges as an immigrant from Mexico. She concluded her address by saying, "As I am standing here today, I am confident that Central Piedmont gave me the right tools to continue chasing my academic goals. I am also confident that just like mine, your struggle can make magic if you take the leap of faith."
RaeDeja recounted how she had lost loved ones during her time at Central Piedmont and how the college provided her much needed support. "This journey has been charged with intense emotion. I have experienced elevating highs and depleting lows, but seeing it through has been most valuable and unforgettable. And the truth is, graduation today does not mark the end of our studies, nor does it mark the end of deadlines, decisions, or expectations," she explained.
Students graduating from Central Piedmont with a degree, diploma, or certificate had the option of participating in either the morning or afternoon ceremony. Central Piedmont combined its for-credit and non-credit program conferrals into both ceremonies, giving graduates the choice to "walk" at the time that best fits their families' schedule.
Central Piedmont Holds First December CommencementDecember 13, 2022
For the first time in its 59-year history, Central Piedmont Community College held a December commencement on Dec. 13, in Charlotte. Approximately 510 students walked across the Bojangles Coliseum stage to receive their earned credentials. More than 1,200 students had completed their programs of studies since Central Piedmont's May graduation.
Linda Nelson, a 2022 graduate, addressed her peers by delivering the commencement address. Nelson, an adult student who holds an MBA, is a new graduate from Central Piedmont with an Associate in Applied Science degree in horticulture.
Central Piedmont was excited to offer a winter commencement this year to honor its graduates who completed their programs during the 2022 summer and fall semesters. The addition of a winter ceremony allows the college to honor and celebrate its summer and fall graduates in the same timely way as its spring graduates.
For more information about Central Piedmont's nearly 300 degree, diploma and certificate programs, including GED and adult high school, visit the college website.
New Nursing Program Graduates First ClassDecember 8, 2022
Central Piedmont Community College has graduated its first class of practical nurses from the Dickson Practical Nursing Program. The 10 graduates from the newly-established one-year program are now eligible to sit for the national licensure exam to become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs).
The new graduates participated in a nursing pinning ceremony on Dec. 6, and will walk in Central Piedmont's first-ever winter graduation ceremony on Dec. 13, at Bojangles Coliseum.
The Dickson Foundation of Charlotte awarded Central Piedmont a $500,000 grant in 2021 to develop a new LPN program at the college to provide students an accelerated path to a meaningful, family-sustaining career in the healthcare industry and address specific employment needs within the Charlotte region's healthcare sector.
The Dickson Practical Nursing Program enables students to earn their professional credential in one year, preparing them for employment more quickly. This is especially important, given the median LPN salary is $48,055, which offers a viable economic-mobility pathway for lower-income residents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
LPNs work under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN), with employment opportunities available immediately in hospitals; rehabilitation, long-term care, and home health facilities; clinics; and physicians' offices.
Central Piedmont will expand the second class to as many as 24 seats and then monitor local needs for LPNs and adjust the size of future classes to meet demand. The program is based on the college's Central Campus.
College Hosts 2021 Commencement CeremoniesMay 13, 2021
Central Piedmont Community College hosted multiple commencement ceremonies outdoors on its Overcash Lawn, located in front of Overcash Center on Central Campus, on May 12 and 13, to ensure the celebration of its 2021 graduates was conducted safely and in accordance with NCDHHS and CDC guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following outdoor commencement ceremonies were held:
- Wednesday, May 12, 2021
- 11 a.m.: Health Science programs
- 2 p.m.: Skilled Trades, College and Career Readiness
- Thursday, May 13, 2021
- 9 a.m.: Business, Engineering, and Technology
- 11 a.m.: Transfer Degree Programs
- 2 p.m.: Transfer Degree Programs
More than 800 students from the 2021 spring semester, as well as the 2020 summer and fall semesters, "marched" and received their college degrees during the first outdoor commencement ceremony the college has hosted in 35 years. (The last outdoor ceremony was held in 1986, on the Central Campus Quad.) More than 2,430 students were eligible to graduate this year.
During the May 12 festivities, Mr. Marco Gallardo Cuervo, who graduated from Central Piedmont with an Associate in Applied Science in Welding Technology degree, addressed his fellow graduates. Ms. Emma Hoff, an Associate in Arts student delivered the May 13 commencement address to her peers.This is the fourth consecutive year Central Piedmont has had student keynote speakers at graduation.
Central Piedmont holds commencement May 16May 16, 2019
During the morning festivities, Ms. Desiree Kinker, a 2019 Central Piedmont graduate, addressed this year's graduates. This is the second time Central Piedmont has had a student keynote speaker at graduation. Desiree, a culinary arts student, shared her personal story with her peers. It was a tale of perseverance; her determination to complete her education, despite a period of homelessness; and overcoming the odds. She stood out as a prime example of a student who valued and leveraged the relationships around her, worked hard to build a better life, and brought light to any space she entered.
In addition to hearing from Desiree, attendees also heard from Adam Brooks, senior manager of learning and development for Charter Communications, who was recognized with this year's Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award, and Brandy Garrett, science department chair for Blenheim Elementary Middle School, who was honored with the college's inaugural Young Alumni Award of Excellence.
View photos from the day.
Central Piedmont names 2019 Alumni Award recipientsApril 29, 2019
During its spring commencement on May 16 at 10 a.m., at Bojangles' Coliseum, Central Piedmont Community College will present Adam S. Brooks, senior manager of learning and development for Charter Communications, with the 2019 Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award, and Brandy R. Garrett, science department chair for Blenheim Elementary Middle School, in Bennettsville, S.C., with the inaugural Young Alumni Award of Excellence. The awards recognize a former Central Piedmont student who has benefited significantly from experiences at Central Piedmont and whose efforts have helped the community.
Adam S. Brooks
Brooks graduated from Central Piedmont in 2004 with an associate degree in business administration. Since that time, he has built a successful career, working in a variety of fields, including instructional technologies, training management, new media communications, marketing, and many others. A consummate servant leader, Brooks seeks to place the needs of the local community first. As a result, he can be found volunteering on a number of boards for area nonprofits and economic development teams, including the Matthews Economic Development Advisory Committee, The Red Brick Partnership, and The Armed Forces Museum and Archives of the Carolinas, or helping Charlotte men in need by gifting them a pair of quality, vintage dress shoes that he personally restores through his shoe ministry. A passionate entrepreneur, Brooks is a frequent guest speaker, writer, and contributor who has founded a number of community events in the Queen City that highlight innovation and startups, including THE Geek Fest at Central Piedmont, BarCamp Charlotte and EdCamp Charlotte.
Brandy R. Garrett
Since graduating from Central Piedmont in 2009 with an associate in arts, Garrett has earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from UNC Charlotte, and a master's degree in education from Francis Marion University. Today, she is married, a mom to five children by adoption, and a proud middle school teacher, who works to ensure the in-need children she teaches are well loved. She routinely raises money for her students, to guarantee they have the supplies they need to learn, and was among the first to raise her hand to help those impacted by Hurricanes Florence and Michael in fall 2018. Her commitment extends well beyond her classroom; in fact, each year she returns to Central Piedmont to volunteer at the college's annual Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony, an event that honors the academic achievements of current Central Piedmont students.
The Hagemeyer Award takes its name from Dr. Richard H. Hagemeyer, CPCC president for 23 years, who led the college from its beginnings as a trade school with 1,200 students to one of the largest N.C. community colleges. View the previous award recipients at cpccfoundation.org/alumni/hagemeyer-award-honorees. To learn more about the Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award and its requirements, please visit www.cpccfoundation.org/hagemeyer.
This is the first year the college has awarded a Young Alumni Award of Excellence. To be considered for the award, the recipient must not only meet all of the Hagemeyer Award requirements, but also must have graduated from Central Piedmont within the last 10 years. To learn more about the Young Alumni Excellence Award, visit www.cpccfoundation.org/youngalumni. Read more
Foundation Scholar 2019 Central Piedmont Commencement SpeakerApril 25, 2019
Central Piedmont culinary student, Desiree Kinker, has been chosen as the 2019 Central Piedmont commencement speaker. Desiree is a Merancas Technical Careers Scholar as well as a Ruth G. Shaw Scholar.
Desiree Kinker first started at Central Piedmont in 2010. Dealing with the day-to-day college grind can be challenging by itself, but Desiree dealt with another situation many college students don't have to face homelessness.
"I started at Central Piedmont in 2010 and have been homeless almost the entire time," she said. "I lived in a homeless shelter for a year, left college for five years and currently live in transitional housing. I haven't had a place to call my own, so that's why I came back to Central Piedmont, because it truly felt like a home."
Since her return to college, Desiree is confident and making the most of her opportunities. She received two scholarships - Ruth G. Shaw Scholarship and Merancas Technical Careers Scholarship which, according to her, allowed her to "relieve some of my financial fears."
She is enrolled in the college's culinary arts degree program, an active participant in culinary club and a Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) international honor society member. "I chose to resume my studies because I want a better life," Desiree said. "I have been able to interact and learn from mentors and form bonds with female business leaders around Charlotte. The faculty and students here have really had my back and pushed me to be better. I hope to be a light in the darkness for those who may be struggling."
Last year for the first time in the history of Central Piedmont, a student was selected as the commencement speaker. Patsy Montesinos, also a Ruth G. Shaw Scholar, was the 2018 speaker. Patsy is completing her first year at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she is majoring in broadcast journalism.
This year's graduation ceremony will be held at Bojangles' Coliseum on Thursday, May 16, at 10 a.m. Read more