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MECC graduates more than 570 virtually

Mike Still • May 16, 2020 at 4:00 PM

BIG STONE GAP — Mountain Empire Community College took the plunge for a virtual commencement ceremony Friday for its more than 570 degree and certificate graduates.

MECC President Kristen Westover donned academic regalia for Friday’s ceremony, telling graduates and their families the college plans to conduct an in-person ceremony at a later date.

“We would love to fully celebrate with you and your loved ones,” Westover said, “but current circumstances simply won’t allow it.”

MECC in March joined the rest of the state’s community colleges in closing its campus and switching to online classes for the rest of the semester.

“Through the course of your educational journey, you’ve shown resilience, flexibility and commitment, particularly in the last two months,” Westover told graduates as icons and messages filled the comments bar on the college’s Facebook page.

“You will travel new paths that will take each of you down many different roads,” Westover said.

Westover also thanked the graduates’ friends and families for their support and credited the efforts of the college’s dual enrollment students, many who were graduating from high school and the college at the same time this spring. She also noted the contributions of the college’s student veterans for their service to the country and their contributions to the college’s community.

“Achieving your goals is not as important as who you become by achieving your goals,” Westover said.

More than 570 graduates earned associate degrees and professional certificates Friday. Carrie Ann Adams became the first student of MECC’s virtual degree walk.

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