Drive-Thru Graduation Ceremonies Celebrate Class of 2020

In celebration of its Class of 2020, Central Piedmont hosted drive-thru graduation ceremonies July 29 and 30 on its Cato Campus, located in northeast Charlotte. More than 440 Central Piedmont 2020 graduates participated in the two-day event, which included ceremonies for the college’s traditional undergraduate programs, as well as its College and Career Readiness programs (high school completion, Accelerated Career Training, and NCWorks Next Gen).

Central Piedmont’s graduation committee designed the college’s drive-thru graduation ceremonies with the health and well-being of its faculty/staff, students, and their family and friends in mind. As a result, all event volunteers and graduates were asked to wear face coverings, and social distancing and state guidelines were followed during the ceremonies.

“It was important we recognize our 2020 graduates’ accomplishments, especially during this unprecedented time, when so many of them had to overcome multiple obstacles to achieve their educational goals this year,” said Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont, who was on-site both days to personally congratulate graduates. “The Class of 2020 is a resilient group of individuals. I look forward to hearing their many success stories and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”

The college offers nearly 300 programs to get students real-world ready. Affordable and flexible Central Piedmont classes can help students earn the skills to fast track into a career pathway or lay the foundation for a four-year degree. Registration for the fall 2020 term is open. The college looks forward to welcoming new and returning students on Aug. 10.

View the graduation event photo gallery or watch the ceremony live-streams on Facebook.

Meet Your 2019 Commencement Speaker: Desiree Kinker

The Graduation Committee is pleased to announce Desiree Kinker as the 2019 student Desiree Kinkerspeaker for graduation! Desiree is graduating with an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts, is a member of the Central Piedmont NC Student Culinary Competition Team, a former Ruth G. Shaw Scholar, and an active community volunteer.

Those who know Desiree are familiar with the smile that greets you at her first hello, but few are probably aware of the journey that might lie beneath. Desiree is graduating in May as a successful culinary student, but the road that got her this far has bumps and bruises and many downs and ups. Though Desiree greets you with light, she’s not afraid to tell you about the tough challenges she has faced and overcome during her life and as a student.

Desiree is a true example of how Central Piedmont can lift an individual from where they begin and catapult them into their own, unique future. She is a prime example of a student who valued and leveraged relationships around her, working hard (and with great wisdom) to build a better life and bring light to any space she enters. We are proud of her and of all of our graduates, and we are excited to hear her message!

Counting Down to Graduation….

The College Graduation Ceremony is 10 a.m., Thursday, May 17, 2018, at Counting down to graduationBojangles’ Coliseum, located at 2700 Independence Boulevard. Graduates should check in at the main entrance of the coliseum at 9 a.m. Invite as many guests as you wish; seating and free parking are first come-first serve. Please check your CPCC email account for more detailed information.

For all College and Career Readiness Graduates, there is a mandatory graduation orientation on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, at 11 a.m., at Bojangles’ Coliseum, located at 2700 Independence Boulevard. Graduates must attend the orientation to participate in the ceremony, which will take place at 3 p.m., Thursday, May 17, 2018, at Bojangles’ Coliseum. 

Invite as many guests as you wish; seating and free parking are first come-first serve.   Please check your CPCC email account for more detailed information.

For questions, call the Graduation Office at 704.330.6312. Be sure to join us on this special day to celebrate your accomplishments!


Congratulations Graduates!

All of your hard work has finally paid off and we would like to congratulate you on your graduation. We wish you much success in you new career or on your continued education path. Thank you for choosing CPCC and for letting us help you accomplish your Graduationpersonal and professional goals!

Dr. Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States, Will Be CPCC Graduation Speaker

Dr. Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, will serve as CPCC’s 2015 graduation speaker.

Jill Biden

Jill Biden

Dr. Biden will address CPCC’s graduates at the May 14 ceremony, planned for 4 p.m., at the Bojangles’ Coliseum, in Charlotte, N.C. The college anticipates as many as 1,800 students will graduate in May, with approximately 800 participating in the ceremony.

Dr. Biden is a mother and grandmother, a lifelong educator, a proud Blue Star mom, and an active member of her community. As Second Lady, Dr. Biden works to bring attention to the sacrifices made by military families, to highlight the importance of community colleges to America’s future, and to raise awareness around areas of particular importance to women, including breast cancer prevention, all while continuing to teach full-time as a professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College.
Dr. Biden has proclaimed community colleges as “one of America’s best-kept secrets.” As a teacher, she sees how community colleges have changed the lives of so many of her students for the better. As Second Lady, she works to underscore the critical role of community colleges in creating the best, most-educated workforce in the world. In 2012, she traveled across the U.S. as part of the “Community College to Career” tour to highlight successful industry partnerships between community colleges and employers. In the fall of 2010, she hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges with President Obama, and she continues to work on this outreach on behalf of the Administration – frequently visiting campuses, meeting with students and teachers, as well as industry representatives around the country.
“We could not be happier to have Dr. Jill Biden as our 2015 graduation speaker,” said Dr. Tony Zeiss, CPCC president. “Dr. Biden will speak directly to our graduates’ hopes and aspirations and the challenges they have faced along the way. She will know our students well because she has taught so many community college students in her career as an educator. She also brings a national perspective on the value of the nation’s community colleges. Our graduates and their families will be enriched by Dr. Biden’s address.”
Dr. Biden has been an educator for more than three decades. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., she taught English at a community college in Delaware, a public high school and a psychiatric hospital for adolescents. She earned her doctorate in education from the University of Delaware in 2007. Her dissertation focused on maximizing student retention in community colleges. She also has two master’s degrees — both of which she earned while working and raising a family.
Dr. Biden and the Vice President have three adult children, all of whom are married, and five grandchildren.

Gates Foundation Leader Will Serve as CPCC Graduation Speaker

Allan C. Golston, president of the United States Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will serve as Central Piedmont Community College’s 2013 graduation speaker.

Allan Golston

Allan Golston

Golston will address CPCC’s 2013 graduates at the May 16 ceremony planned for the Bojangles’ Coliseum. The College anticipates as many as 1,000 students will graduate in May, with at least 700 participating in the ceremony.
Golston leads the Gates Foundation’s efforts to reduce inequities and increase access to opportunities for low-income and disadvantaged Americans. He oversees the U.S. Program’s major areas of grant-making – education
U.S. librariesPacific Northwest, special initiatives and advocacy. Golston, who joined the foundation in 1999, most recently served as the chief financial and administrative officer.
Golston’s professional background is in finance and health care. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Seattle University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Colorado. He is an active community volunteer and serves on the boards of a number of regional and national organizations.
“We are delighted and proud to have Allan Golston come as our 2013 graduation speaker,” said Dr. Zeiss. “The work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide low-income and disadvantaged persons educational opportunities is known worldwide. Our graduates and their families will benefit from hearing Mr. Golston’s remarks.”

Harold Cogdell Jr., will be CPCC Graduation Speaker

Harold Cogdell Jr., Charlotte attorney and chair of the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners, will serve as Central Piedmont Community College’s 2012 graduation speaker.

Harold Cogdell Jr.

Harold Cogdell Jr.

CPCC’s 2012 graduation ceremony will take place at 7 p.m., on May 10, at the Bojangles Coliseum, on East Independence Boulevard. The College anticipates as many as 1,000 students to graduate in May, with approximately 700 participating in the ceremony.

Cogdell is serving his second term as an at-large Mecklenburg County Commissioner and his first as chair. He serves on the commission’s Criminal Justice, Health and Community Support Services committees. He served on the Charlotte City Council from 2001-2003, participating on the Budget, Public Safety and Restructuring Government committees.

“We are honored to have Chairman Cogdell as our 2012 graduation speaker,” said Dr. Tony Zeiss, CPCC president. “Harold is a community leader, having served Charlotte and Mecklenburg County for 20 years. Our graduates and their families will be interested to hear what Harold has to say about leadership, service and community involvement.”

CPCC’s graduation ceremony is open to family and friends. Tickets are not required, and parking is free.