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Fayetteville Tech celebrates graduation of more than 1,900 students

Keynote speaker urges graduates to choose faith over fear


Fayetteville Technical Community College graduated more than 1,900 students Friday during its 61st annual commencement exercises.

Two ceremonies were held at the Crown Coliseum, according to a college news release.

Tammy Thurman,  senior community relations and government affairs manager of Piedmont Natural Gas, delivered the keynote address at each ceremony. Thurman, a member of FTCC’s board of trustees, is a cancer survivor.

She invoked the words of Robert F. Kennedy and Maya Angelou to inspire the graduates, capping her speech with a call for them to choose faith over fear, the release said.

“You are now faced with standing on fear or faith,” Thurman said. “Fear is behind you, and faith is in front of you. Which path will you take? Which way will you lead? Challenges are inevitable but defeat from those very challenges is optional. As you think about the future and your next steps, I want to tell you that I don’t know what the future holds. But I do know who holds the future.”

FTCC President Mark Sorrells, presiding over the first commencement since he took the job in January, presided over the turning of the tassels at the end of each ceremony.

“By the powers invested in me by the state of North Carolina and the board of trustees of Fayetteville Technical Community College, I hereby confer upon you your high school equivalency diploma, high school diploma, curriculum certificate, diploma, or associate degree with all its rights, privileges and responsibilities and declare you graduates of Fayetteville Technical Community College,” Sorrells said. 

FTCC recognized a total of 1,961 graduates on Friday, awarding 3,406 certificates, diplomas or associate degrees, the release said. The numbers include students who completed coursework at the end of the fall semester, as well as spring finishers.

Of those students, 652 earned honors designation and 171 earned highest honors designation.

In addition, FTCC recognized 42 graduates of its adult high school program and 99 from the high school equivalency program.

Students Tesia Dresser and Troy Hobbs III received special recognition during the ceremonies. Dresser received the President’s Award, while Hobbs received the N.C. Community College System Academic Excellence Award.

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