Vance-Granville graduates ready to turn tassels

May. 09, 2013 @ 06:11 PM

Nearly 500 students are expected to receive degrees and diplomas this evening as Vance-Granville Community College hosts its 2013 curriculum graduation ceremony.

Associate in Applied Science degrees will be awarded, along with Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Arts.

Vocational and technical diplomas will also be given out. The commencement will be the second under the college’s current president, Dr. Stelfanie Williams.

Dr. Tom Houlihan of Oxford will be the commencement speaker for the exercises held on campus at the gazebo at 6 p.m., weather permitting. The rain date is Saturday morning at 11 a.m.

Houlihan’s career in education spans more than 40 years, serving as superintendent of Granville County Schools from 1985 to 1990, and currently acting as a member of the N.C. Board of Community Colleges.

Also speaking during the commencement ceremony will be Felicia Sanders-Gupton, the Student Government Association president.

As SGA president, Gupton also serves as the student member of the college’s board of trustees.

She will graduate with an Associate in Arts degree, and was a recipient of an endowed academic scholarship.

Twenty-two members of the first classes of Vance County Early College High School, and 12 from Warren Early College High School are predicted to receive associate degrees and will participate in the ceremony.

In 2008 VGCC began collaborating with local schools systems to operate early college high schools, allowing students to simultaneously complete high school diplomas and associate degrees, or close to two years of college transferable credit.

VGCC’s two other early college high schools — Granville County Early College, and Franklin County Early College — opened in August 2009 and January 2010, respectively. With a number of students from both schools completing the typically five-year program in four years or less, both are expected to graduate students this spring.

A recent count of early college students indicated 157 students have already received acceptance letters from colleges and universities.

Contact the writer at abentley@hendersondispatch.com.