WINTERVILLE, N.C. — Pitt Community College will hold its very first fall graduation ceremony this month with former Vice President of Institutional Advancement Susan Nobles serving as commencement speaker.
After holding virtual graduation ceremonies in each of the past two years due to the pandemic, Dr. Thomas Gould, PCC Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services, said Pitt administrators, faculty and staff were eager to have an in-person event to recognize student success. The ceremony will take place Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Greenville Convention Center.
“PCC is proud to be able to celebrate fall 2021 graduates in our first-ever fall commencement ceremony,” Gould said. “With all the challenges our students have faced during these pandemic times, we believe it is more important than ever to recognize their resilience and their achievement.”
Of the 248 students who graduated this fall, 127 are expected to participate in the ceremony. Collectively, they have earned 395 degrees, diplomas and/or certificates.
Nobles, who concluded a remarkable 32-year career at Pitt in 2019, will deliver the commencement address. She joined the college in 1987 as director of marketing and public relations before being named vice president in 2000 to oversee staff responsible for alumni relations, marketing, media relations and the VISIONS Career Development and Scholarship Program.
Nobles also served as executive director of the PCC Foundation. In that capacity, she led efforts to secure gifts and donations for scholarships, capital projects and many other initiatives to support students and the college.
“You will not find anyone with more heart, determination, loyalty and passion than Susan Nobles,” said former PCC Foundation Board Chairman Miles Minges. “… She loves Pitt Community College and seeing our students succeed.”
Prior to receiving North Carolina’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award upon her retirement, Nobles earned several prestigious honors, including the 2014 PCC Woman of Substance Award, the N.C. Community College System Staff Person of the Year in 2017, and a Distinguished Service Award from PCC Trustees.
PCC, which celebrated its 60th Anniversary in March, has had just five presidents in its history. Nobles worked with three of them: Dr. Charles E. Russell, Dr. G. Dennis Massey and Dr. Lawrence L. Rouse.
A little more than a year into his tenure as president, Rouse spoke during Nobles’ retirement celebration and referred to her as the “cornerstone” of PCC.
“Susan Nobles is an icon in the N.C. Community College System,” he said. “I’ve only had the privilege of working with her at PCC for one year, but I have known her for the past 20 years. I was always amazed by the work she has done for Pitt Community College from afar, but I discovered she is even more amazing when I began working with her closely as PCC president. Her efforts have made PCC what it is today.” Each person planning to attend graduation must present a ticket at the door in order to enter the convention center. Facial masks will be required for all attendees.