The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

May 24, 2013

Stanly Community College conducts commencement


Friday, May 24, 2013 — On May 15, Stanly Community College (SCC) celebrated its 42nd commencement day to honor and recognize the achievements of all the graduates. Three separate ceremonies were conducted at the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center to accommodate nearly 2,000 students, family and friends that gathered to witness their loved ones receive their degrees, diplomas and certificates.   

“We heartily congratulate the class of 2013. The board of trustees, faculty and staff at Stanly Community College appreciate the fact that these graduates entrusted SCC to help them in achieving their educational goals,” SCC President Dr. Brenda Kays said.

“We are extremely proud of their accomplishments and wish them every success as they enter the workforce and/or pursue further education.”        

Alicia Herrin, recipient of the Dianne H. Burton Community Service Award and an accounting and business administration graduate, encouraged graduates to be thankful during her commencement speech at the noon ceremony.

“Don’t forget that all you have accomplished and obtained is a gift. There are people that have helped you along the way, miracles that have happened and prayers that have been answered. Be thankful for those gifts and don’t take them for granted.”  

Herrin is seeking full-time employment, but is currently working as a lab assistant and part-time tutor at Stanly Community College.

After an automobile accident, doctors told Stephen Brannan, a human service technology graduate, he would never walk again.  After years of commitment, he proved the doctors were wrong when he walked across the stage in front of a packed auditorium.  

“All things are possible if you have faith and believe in your dreams,” he said.  

Brannan is the recipient of the Edward J. Snyder Jr. Exceptional Scholars Award and has found employment with RHA Services and The Community Inn.

Robert Stone, an outstanding graduate in radiography, encouraged students during his speech to never give up.

“No matter what obstacle lies in front of you, stay positive and approach it as another stepping stone in life to learn from,” he said.

Stone has found employment as a radiology attendant at Stanly Regional Medical Center and is confident that doors will continue to open up for him.

Aryn Floyd explained her flight to make it through her educational journey.

“I was constantly struggling to find what worked best for me when it came to college life — how to study, how to write papers, how to make myself do the work,”  Floyd said.

Floyd graduated as Stanly Early College’s valedictorian and with an associate in science degree. She encouraged students to grab every opportunity possible.

Floyd plans to continue her education and has enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

GED graduate Linda Frazier noted in her speech, “I was about 15 years old when I quit school. I was young and didn’t think that I needed a high school diploma; boy, was I wrong.”

She encouraged those who may need to finish their high school education to go back to school.

“Don’t be scared, because the staff and instructors at SCC will help you every step of the way,” she said.

Matthew Lee, recipient of the Edward J. Snyder Jr. Exceptional Scholars Award and criminal justice technology and associate in arts degree graduate, delivered his commencement speech during the 6 p.m. ceremony.  

“An education is a privilege, something to be applied to all aspects of life, something that makes a great individual even better,” he said. Lee is now employed at the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office.  

Tessa Ann Hartsell, associate degree nursing graduate, received the Annie Ruth Kelley Award.

Each ceremony will be available for viewing after May 22 on SCC-TV Time Warner Cable Channel 21 and the College’s website. For a complete schedule, visit