Sunday, May 15, 2011

PVCC's 2011 Commencement Exercises at UVA's JPJ

After a fast-moving thunderstorm drenched the afterparty of last year's outdoor commencement ceremonies at Piedmont Virginia Community College, a new, indoor venue was sought and found.

It turns out, however, that the first choice -- University Hall -- became unavailable two weeks before the scheduled May 13 (that's Friday the 13th,, by the way) and a back-up plan became necessary.  Fortunately, the John Paul Jones Arena had no bookings that night, and PVCC officials worked quickly to adapt their seating and platform arrangements to the JPJ space.

Strategically placed black curtains set off most of the JPJ, permitting PVCC's 38th annual commencement exercises to be held indoors but without getting lost in the cavernous basketball arena's vastness.

About 400 students were awarded degrees of certificates, cheered on by family, friends, and teachers.  They heard speeches from Fifth District Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Chatham) and from graduating student Shagun Adhikari, who came here from Nepal to earn two degrees, one in computer science and the other in engineering, with plans to continue his studies at the University of Virginia.

PVCC president Frank Friedman, board chair Suzanne Morse Moomaw, and vice presidents John Donnelly and William Jackameit also offered brief remarks, as did Sasha Gong, a member of the State Board for Community Colleges.  Voice student James Tubbs sang the national anthem, as he did last year, and the Charlottesville Municipal Band offered a musical prelude and accompaniment to the processional and recessional.  (Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" for the former, naturally.)

After the ceremony, I was able to interview Congressman Hurt for  His answers to my questions resulted in two articles, "U.S. Representative Robert Hurt discusses eminent domain and redistricting" and "Robert Hurt answers questions on pending legislation and the Constitution."

After I finished, Hurt faced the cameras from Jessica Jaglois of the Newsplex and Derick Waller of NBC29.

The Daily Progress also has a report on the commencement ceremony.

Here are video highlights of the occasion, in four parts.

Part I features the procession of faculty and graduates, plus the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Part II has PVCC President Frank Friedman's welcome and demographic topology of the graduating class, and Sasha Gong's brief words.

In Part III
, Congressman Robert Hurt delivers his commencement address, after an introduction by Suzanne Morse Moomaw.
Part IV starts with vice president for instruction and student services John Donnelly's introduction of student speaker Shagun Adhikari, followed by closing comments by vice president for finance and administrative services William Jackameit, and a final benediction done call-and-repeat style by Mr. Adhikari.

Note:  After last year's ceremony, I interviewed Virginia Secretary of Education Gerard Robinson and Delegate Rob Bell.

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