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The 56th annual Halifax Community College commencement saw 304 students awarded degrees and credentials today at the Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr. Centre.

“Such an achievement is a true testament to their dedication and commitment to their studies,” the college said. “We extend our warmest congratulations to these graduates and trust that the knowledge and skills they have acquired will prove invaluable in their future endeavors. Their hard work, determination, and optimistic outlook are sure to lead them to great success. 

“It is equally important for them to give back to their communities and make a positive impact on the lives of others, as they have the potential to truly make a difference.”

Anita Brown-Graham, Gladys Hall Coates distinguished professor of public law and government and director of the ncIMPACT Initiative at the UNC School of Government, delivered the keynote address, emphasizing the importance of being prepared to fail and not being discouraged by failure. 

She also encouraged graduates to ignore fear and prioritize self-care. “Taking care of oneself is not selfish, but necessary for success, as the connection between the head and the heart requires protecting one's peace to achieve greatness.”

“Through effective collaboration and diligent mutual effort, Anita Brown-Graham adeptly tackles community challenges with skillful success,” the college said. “Her exceptional public speaking and moderation skills are held in high regard, and she expertly hosts ncIMPACT, a television program featuring ingenious community collaborations across the state of North Carolina.”

 HCC President Patrena Benton Elliott delivered the charge to the graduates. “Graduates, you are prepared and positioned for continued success. Whether your next step is to transition to the military, a four-year institution, to a position in business and industry, or launch your own business, you are ready. You are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skill sets to effectively accomplish your goals. I encourage you to give back. 

“Recognizing that others helped to pave the way for you, please make sure you do the same for the next individual and for your community. It is up to us to make it better, stronger and one to be proud of.”

Annelise Edwards, a graduate of Northampton County Early College and President of the HCC Student Government Association, accepted the charge on behalf of the class of 2023. “As a member of both the Phi Theta Kappa academic honor society and National Beta Club, Ms. Edwards has achieved great academic success, earning an associate in arts degree as a result of her hard work and dedication. 

“Looking to the future, she hopes to combine her passion for medicine and humanity, and seeks to inspire students not only in Northampton County, but in her home country of Jamaica and in the United States where she resides.”

Edwards aspires to pursue a career as a medical doctor in the future.