Voices of graduates, friends and family buzzed in excitement as the graduates marched down the isle in progression for the 44th commencement at New River Community College.
The commencement, held in a crowded Edwards Hall on Wednesday, congratulated over a hundred of this year’s nearly 500 graduates on their hard work and academic excellence.
The former 7th District Delegate David Nutter addressed graduates in a light-hearted manner.
“When I sat where you are, as a soon to be graduate,” Nutter said, “I am not sure who was more amazed, me or my mother. And if my high school principal had known, he would have been stunned.”
Nutter said he was a bit of a ‘wayward’ student.
“My focus was on how quickly I could escape, escape school, escape homework, and escape my hometown,” Nutter said. “While I did graduate with my class, they couldn’t find a basement deep enough to hold my grade point average.”
Nutter, who was previously named Legislator of the Year, served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2002 to 2012. He currently serves on the Virginia Community College State board and the One Care of Southwest Virginia board.
“For all of you this moment represents a mile marker,” Nutter told the graduates. “A time to catch your breath and chill, right? But my message is don’t chill too long.”
Nutter spoke about how Steve Jobs and former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill took chances in life and allowed education and passion to guide them in life.
“Be a life learner and explore,” Nutter said. “You’ll never be bored.”
Nutter also stressed an important part of life, kindness.
“You will meet many people in your life, but what they will remember is how you treated them and how you made them feel,” Nutter said. “If you reach out in kindness and friendship, you will be amazed at how your kindness will come back to you in friendship by the people you embraced.”
Nutter spoke of the strength of community kindness in the New River Valley, and encouraged graduates to continue spreading that kindness.
“Congratulations on your accomplishment and God bless you all,” Nutter said smiling.
After Nutter’s congratulations, Dr. Jack Lewis, president of NRCC, presented graduates, one by one, with their diplomas.
Throughout the ceremony, graduates impatiently waited for the time to come to cast off their hats in joy as a celebration of all of their accomplishments.
Finally, it was time.
Today, they celebrate. Tomorrow, it will be time to think about the future.