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Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, far right, marches to his last commencement ceremony as he will retire in July. He is accompanied by SVCC Local Board Chair Betsy Sharrett. Roberts served five years as SVCC President.

“Remember to accept your path with its many twists and turns…the adventure is in the journey, not the arrival. Every one of you has achieved enormous growth today, by being here, receiving this degree, you have changed the person you once were, and grown into something much more,” said Steve Franklin, Graduate Speaker at the 2019 Commencement of Southside Virginia Community College held at the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville on May 11.

Franklin, of South Boston, was one of the nearly 1,200 students eligible to receive degrees, certificates and diplomas at the event and was selected by administration and faculty to be the speaker. He graduated with an Associate’s degree in nursing presented by Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President who presided over his final graduation ceremony due to his upcoming retirement.

“This is the part where I encourage you to keep on learning and growing, he said. “It’s not the strength we have before we break, it’s the strength we possess when we feel broken or tired that matters. Every one of us here has experienced that feeling, and every one of you are sitting here today because you possess the strength to rise above it.

“The pride you feel today is a direct result of that strength. Keep using that fortitude, keep using that strength. This is not the finish line, no, this is just the beginning. Keep moving forward, keep striving for more, you know now that you possess the ability to do so,” he noted.

Also, a Hooding ceremony was held for three SVCC employees who completed Doctoral degrees. Those individuals are Lisa Jordan, associate professor of History and Political Science, Alfonzo Seward, assistant professor of Administration of Justice and Debra Smiley, Workforce Development.