Central Piedmont holds commencement ceremony May 16
Central Piedmont Community College today hosted its 2018-2019 commencement ceremony at Bojangles’ Coliseum in Charlotte. Almost 875 students “marched” and received their college degrees. More than 2,500 students were eligible to graduate this year.
Since Central Piedmont holds only spring graduation ceremonies each year, 2018 summer and fall semester graduates participated in the exercises as well.
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.
2019 Hagemeyer Educational Advancement and Inaugural Young Alumni Award of Excellence Recipients Named
During its spring commencement on May 16 at 10 a.m., at Bojangles’ Coliseum, Central Piedmont Community College will present Adam Brooks, senior manager of learning and development for Charter Communications, with the 2019 Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award, and Brandy 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.
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.
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 whom she has adopted, 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.
To learn more about the Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award and Young Alumni Award of Excellence, please visit cpccfoundation.org/alumni/awards.
The Hagemeyer Award takes its name from Dr. Richard H. Hagemeyer, Central Piedmont 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/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 cpccfoundation.org/youngalumni.