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Central Virginia Community College holds 54th graduation ceremony

Central Virginia Community College held its 54th graduation ceremony Thursday evening, its first in-person ceremony since 2019.

Students, families and supporters filed into the Vines Center at Liberty University to support the graduates.

“You can be very proud of what you achieved. For that reason the night belongs to you,” CVCC President John Capps said to the audience.

Capps credited students for overcoming hardships — working and caring for families while getting their degrees. He gave credit to families and supporters also.

“To be honest, I don’t think I can do what some of you have done,” Capps told the audience.

CVCC Commencement 2

A graduate has their photo taken after receiving their diploma during commencement for Central Virginia Community College at the Vines Center on Thursday, May 12, 2022.

For the classes of 2020 and 2021, CVCC offered virtual graduation ceremonies, including a drive-thru parade event last year to honor graduates.

For 2022, the college awarded more than 1,000 degrees, diplomas, certificates and career studies certificates, according to a news release.

CVCC graduate Alexandra Doss walked across the stage Thursday evening. She expressed how tough the road to graduation was, especially through the pandemic. Doss was a general studies major and plans to continue school next at Liberty University.

“I almost didn’t want to graduate, but you know, I tried to persevere and I'm really glad that I did,” Doss said.

CVCC Commencement 3

A graduate's friend holds up an encouraging sign of congratulations during commencement for Central Virginia Community College at the Vines Center on Thursday, May 12, 2022.

Keith Serro said he was happy to have his family in attendance. He plans to continue his studies at a four-year university.

“I was proud to do it. My two kids were here, so it was nice for them to be here,” Serro said.

Serro’s mom, Sharon Serro, expressed how she was proud to see her son walk across the stage.

“He’s been through so much these last years, and he’s a single dad right now and he's done so well. We’re so proud of him,” she said.

CVCC Commencement 5

Graduates make their way down to the floor for the commencement ceremony for Central Virginia Community College at the Vines Center on Thursday.

Rhiannon England, a member of the honor society at CVCC, said she thought college wasn't her path. 

“I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to do the college thing, so I’m happy that I’ve pushed myself to finally do it and challenge myself,” England said.

Muriel Mickles, interim president of Danville Community College, gave the commencement address at the ceremony. Mickles was a former student at CVCC and a former vice president of academic and student affairs at the college.

Mickles said while she was thinking of what direction to go with the address, she was inspired by a book by Dr. Seuss, "Oh, The Places You’ll Go." Mickles used it as a metaphor to show that throughout the course of life, everyone will experience obstacles. She emphasized to the graduates, “You will survive.”

“There will be times when you will not know what to do or which way to turn,” Mickles said to the audience. “In spite of the obstacles and the challenges and the uncertainties and failures — guess what, you will survive.”

CVCC Commencement 6

Graduates celebrate with professors as they leave the floor following the commencement ceremony for Central Virginia Community College at the Vines Center on Thursday.

Mickles gave the group five tips: set goals for yourself; don’t be afraid to live life, as fear has the ability to stop personal growth; take responsibility for your mistakes; cultivate your ability and appreciation to get along with other people; and reach back and help others.

Mickles ended by giving the graduates the secret to never stop learning, nurture your inner child and find humor in life situations.

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