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Randolph Community College graduated 330 students on May 8, with the ceremony held at the Greensboro Coliseum for the first time.    Photo by RCC

RCC graduation 2024: ‘Today is the start of great things’

Megan Crotty
RCC's Asst. Director of Communications 


GREENSBORO — Amidst cheers, applause and a palpable sense of pride, the Randolph Community College community came together to celebrate the culmination of years of hard work, dedication and academic excellence at the 2024 Commencement Ceremony at the Greensboro Coliseum on May 8. 


The ceremony was the first for President/CEO Dr. Shah Ardalan, who took the College’s helm in July and saw more than 330 students cross the stage on Wednesday in the first-ever RCC ceremony to take place in the Coliseum. In all, the college boasted more than 960 student graduates. 


“I stand before you today with immense pride and joy,” he said after welcoming those in attendance. “Tonight marks a significant milestone not only in your academic journey but also in your personal and professional growth. I am profoundly honored to witness the culmi-nation of your hard work, dedication and perseverance. Rest assured that you have been trained by the best of the best, so be proud wherever you go. We are blessed that you chose us.”


Sean Suggs — President of Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina, and a community college graduate — gave the commencement address, recalling the story of David selecting five smooth stones before approaching Goliath. 


“You are graduating from one of the best colleges in the entire country,” he said. “Only 15 percent of the 330 million people in the United States are graduating with a community college degree. That makes you giants. That’s what you are in my eyes. You have already proven that you’re a giant slayer, and your first stone was taken care of by graduating from this great college. But what’s next? How will you use the other four stones that are in your pocket?” 


Suggs left cards on each graduates’ chair with advice on what to do with their stones — dream big, trust, be risk takers and have the right attitude. 


“Companies today are looking for hard workers, critical thinkers with great attitude and desire,” he said. “They are looking for graduates from RCC. Your team here has prepared you for the next steps in the workforce. Today is the start of great things for each and every one of you. You’re valued and you are graduates today.” 


Student Government Association President and 2024 graduate Paulina Escobar gave the student address. Escobar earned a degree, diploma, and certificate in Accounting and Finance.


“While I look at this big arena covered in blue, I realize that it doesn’t matter where we all come from,” she said. “We all have more in common than just school colors. We all share our determination for success. You may think graduation is the end of assignments. However, the learning process continues.  


“So, even though you all finished your classwork, tonight I’ll give you three extra assignments — listen to your intuition, build connections and set high standards for yourself. I know how you feel about assignments, but these will help you achieve remarkable milestones in your lives.” 


Ardalan presented two graduates — Cindy Booth (Early Childhood Edu-cation) and Mauricio Aguilera-Lopez 
(Associate in Science) — with $1,000 scholarships in honor of Suggs.