DUBLIN — Bladen Community College’s auditorium was filled to capacity Tuesday evening, when the college conducted graduation for the largest group that has ever marched.
“This isn’t the largest group we’ve conferred degrees upon, but it’s definitely the largest that’s marched,” said BCC Vice-President Jeff Kornegay after the service.
More than 150 students were present during the practice Tuesday morning, and the auditorium lacked an empty seat Tuesday night, leaving some guests to be turned away at the door.
Speaker for the evening was the Rev. Dwight B. Cannon, AME Zion Church director of Global Missions. A graduate of South Africa and a global servant of bishops, Cannon spoke to candidates about Galatians 6:7, which says, “Do not be deceived. God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Cannon challenged the students with a message of “So/sow what?”
“Graduating is an accomplishment worthy of applause,” he remarked, “but the perennial question behind any achievement is, ‘so what?’ … Now, before you get upset and think I’m demeaning your achievement … the question I’m asking is what will you sow? What will you give back?”
He went on to say, “True graduation means students have learned to sow what has been planted in them. The greatest investment in life is to learn, for what you learn can never be taken from you.”
An eloquent speaker, Cannon elicited laughter on multiple occasions, once by telling graduates and guests that “graduation is uniquely yours. Some of you will graduate summa cum laude, some will graduate magna cum laude, and some will graduate thank-You-Lawdy.”
After Cannon’s challenge, one BCC staff member called it the “best graduation speech I’ve ever heard.”
Two BCC graduates received awards during the ceremony. Kyle Gause, a West Bladen senior who will be attending N.C. State University, earned the North Carolina Community College System Academic Excellence Award. Amber Johnson, who was conferred two associates degrees, was named a North Carolina Community College System Dallas Herring Award Nominee.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing email@example.com.