First Graduation on the Green - SC Lt. Governor Delivers Address

Article by: Colton Grace | SCC

On Thursday, May 5th, Spartanburg Community College held the first ever graduation ceremony on the Campus Green of the College’s Giles Campus in Spartanburg. 436 graduates received their degrees, diplomas, and certificates from the College as they transition into high-growth, high demand careers or continue their education towards a bachelor’s degree and beyond.

“Over the last year, the Campus Green has played host to significant milestones, such as the announcement of our free tuition initiative and the launch of the College’s very first mascot, Chaser. Holding the first in-person graduation ceremony since 2019 on this location is the perfect bookend to an academic year that will be remembered for its impact – the reverberations of which will be felt for generations to come,” said Dr. Michael Mikota, President of Spartanburg Community College. “The 436 graduates here today are Chasers in every meaning of the word. We at Spartanburg Community College gave them the tools and resources needed to chase their dreams, and today, they are on the precipice of being able to live out those dreams and leave their mark on the world.”

In addition to being the first graduation ceremony held on SCC’s Giles Campus, the 2022 Commencement Ceremony represented the first in-person graduation ceremony SCC has held since 2019, the first graduation ceremony of Dr. Michael Mikota’s tenure as president, the first graduation ceremony to feature SCC’s new mascot, Chaser, and the first graduation to feature students who have benefited from the College’s free tuition initiative that was launched in May of 2021.

Pictured: South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette Addresses SCC's 2022 Graduates

In marking the historic milestone in SCC’s history, the College welcomed South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette to deliver the commencement address.

“Spartanburg Community College’s motto of ‘Dream It, Chase It, Live It’ fits a philosophical belief I hold dear. I have long said that it is important to dream big, but just as SCC’s motto suggests, you must be willing to chase your dreams,” said Lieutenant Governor Evette. “Because of Spartanburg Community College, the students graduating today have the opportunity to become part of South Carolina’s legacy; one of continued growth and success.”

“We are honored to have Lieutenant Governor Evette join us to mark this significant moment in the history of Spartanburg Community College,” said Dr. Mikota. “Spartanburg County has been the nexus of economic development in South Carolina over the last year, and Spartanburg Community College plays a crucial role in not only the recruitment of that growth, but also the sustainability and continuation of it. With the support of our elected officials, we will continue to supply the region and state with a well-educated workforce and make strides in our mission to become the most affordable, accessible, and relevant institution of higher education in the country.”

Pictured: Marcus Smith, the 2022 Winner of the SCC Alumni Of Distinction Award, Addresses the Graduates

A new tradition of honoring a distinguished alumnus was launched as part of the 2022 SCC Graduation Ceremony with Mr. Marcus Smith being the first recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. Smith and his sister Ashely set a joint goal of attending college and earning a degree in Computer Technology. Sadly, Ashley passed away due to cancer in 2019 and was never able to pursue her degree, however her passing served as motivation for Marcus to succeed for the both of them. Marcus graduated SCC in May of 2021 with an Associates in Applied Science for Computer Technology, Networking/Cybersecurity, and a GPA of 3.6.

He currently works as an IT Specialist for the Charles Lea Center and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity at Middle Georgia State University.

“It is an honor to receive this award and my time at SCC was an astonishing experience for me,” said Smith. To have been chosen as SCC’s very first Distinguished Alumni is something that I will Cherish forever,” said Smith. “Even though my younger sister, Ashley Smith, passed away before she got to chase her dreams, this award is for both of us because she used to always outshine her big brothers.”

The SCC Class of 2022 has 58 graduates with a 4.0 GPA and 310 graduates with a GPA of 3.5-3.99.

A recorded livestream of the ceremony can be found here:
https://vimeo.com/698174345

Photos from the ceremony may be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sccsc/albums/72177720298448698

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