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.

Live Stream the 2020 Drive-Thru Program Ceremonies Today and Tomorrow

We’re so excited Central Piedmont students will have their graduation day! We encourage family, friends, and Central Piedmont faculty and staff to cheer on our graduates by watching the live stream of the ceremony on Facebook and YouTube.

As a reminder, the 2020 Commencement will be celebrated on the Cato Campus as a drive-thru ceremony on Wednesday, July 29, and Thursday, July 30. The ceremony takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on both days, with graduates arriving at an assigned window of time according to their academic program.

Our graduates deserve recognition for the dedication and resilience they’ve shown in their journey toward earning a degree, diploma, or certificate.

Several changes have been made to this year’s ceremony to ensure our graduates are properly honored for their hard work while making every effort to promote a safe and healthy experience. Additional details about the 2020 drive-thru graduation are available on the website, including information about the ceremony process, safety protocols, and program timeslots.

Join us via livestream on Facebook  and YouTube today and tomorrow to celebrate and cheer on Central Piedmont’s Class of 2020!

Graduation Ceremony Postponed

Central Piedmont has made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone the spring graduation ceremony planned for May 14, in response to the coronavirus pandemic and local and state stay-at-home orders.

We areDr D holding diploma t commencement deeply disappointed our graduates will not experience a traditional, large-scale graduation this semester, but we will do everything we can to celebrate this monumental accomplishment. This current situation remains fluid, but we are excited to announce plans are underway for smaller, in-person degree-based graduation ceremonies to be held between July 29-31 held in Halton Theatre. Please mark your calendars and plan accordingly!

The health and well-being of our Central Piedmont community, friends, and family is of the utmost importance and remains our top priority. We’re grateful for the commitment and dedication our students have shown during these challenging times. The Graduation Committee is also exploring other ways to honor our graduates in the month of May. Details of alternative graduation plans will be communicated in the coming days and weeks. We will keep you updated with the latest developments and how they may impact graduation activities.

Stay healthy, and safe. We look forward to celebrating with our graduates soon!

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!

Are You Graduating? Reserve Your Cap and Gown!

Are you graduating in May? Have you applied and received your eligibility email?graduates throwing caps into air

If you answered “yes” to these questions, then it’s time to reserve your cap and gown.

Orders will start being accepted Feb. 8 – March 31. (The Herff Jones site will go live Feb. 8. Please check your email that day for more details!)

For any questions, please contact the Graduation Office at 704.330.6312.

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 your 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!

Are You Ready? Graduation Time is Drawing Near!

Be sure to attend to pick up your reserved cap and gown. Herff Jones representatives will graduation capalso be available at that time to assist you with all of your graduation memorabilia needs. 

Caps and gowns will continue to be for sale at the Central Campus Bookstore until noon on May 16, 2018. 

If you have any questions about your eligibility for graduation, please contact the Graduation Office at 704-330-6313.


Did You Apply to Graduate? If So, Reserve Your Cap & Gown Today!


Please check your CPCC student email accounts often. Students who have applied for graduation and are found eligible will receive an email from us with a link to order their caps and gown.

No money will be due until the Graduation Fair on April 18 and 19. Caps and gowns will be available for sale at the Central Campus Bookstore until noon on May 16.

For additional information, please visit

Charlotte Observer Article: Congo Native Faced Two Civil Wars; Thursday, He Graduates from CPCC With Two Degrees

As Alvan Makoundi-Tchibinda walks across the stage with nearly 800 others at Central Piedmont Community College on Thursday, he leaves with two degrees. He also completes an obligation to his family in central Africa.

And now he is free to imagine a life of his own design.

Born in the nation of Congo, Makoundi-Tchibinda, 22, lived through two civil wars as a child before coming to the United States for college at 18.

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.