More than 1,200 Students Graduate from Delaware County Community College
(Delaware and Chester Counties, PA - May 18, 2023)—More than 1,200 students graduated from Delaware County Community College on Thursday, May 18 with associate degrees and/or certificates. The College held two separate Commencement ceremonies. The morning ceremony was for graduates of the Allied Health & Nursing, STEM, and Workforce & Economic Development divisions. The afternoon ceremony was for graduates of the Business, Computing & Social Science, as well as the Communications, Arts & Humanities divisions. Both ceremonies were held at West Chester University’s Hollinger Field House.
Commencement speakers applauded the graduates for their perseverance in confronting challenges and in reaching their potential. “You did not get to this milestone by accident or by chance,” said Delaware County Community College Board of Trustees Chair Kevin Scott.“ Better than anyone, you know the perseverance; long hours and nights of study; and the sacrifices you have made to pursue your goal of attaining a better life for you and your family.”
“Remember that no matter how imposing the barriers, we can surmount them if we destroy the limitations that we’ve placed on ourselves and strengthen our resolve with the love and support of our friends, family and community,” said Tashea White of Upper Darby, the student Commencement speaker.
A Communication Arts major, White was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease at the age of 11 and lost not only her eyesight but her ability to walk. With determination and fortitude, she regained the latter. White received the College’s 2023 Communications Academic Achievement Award, is on the President’s Honor List for academic achievement and is a member of the College’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She is co-executive producer of the student-run New Media Lab, which produces original, digital, creative content for the web and social media. In addition, she has played a key role in helping the College’s Office of Information Technology provide website accessibility for students with disabilities.
“I know from personal experience just how scary it is to begin a new chapter in life,” White said, “But doing so at DCCC has made this a phenomenal chapter. DCCC is a place of new beginnings…made more exciting than daunting because of the outpouring of support and opportunity we receive here.”
Later in the ceremony, Delaware County Community College President Dr. L. Joy Gates Black, who will retire on June 30, said she was “humbled” by the opportunity she has had over her six-year tenure to guide the College forward. She added, “It is incredibly rewarding to know that we have played a part in helping students to achieve their dreams. It has been my privilege to serve this College and especially you, the members of the Class of 2023. I implore you to make a positive impact on the world.”
2023 Graduates: A Snapshot
Joshua Contrucci of Media received an associate degree in Science, Mathematics/Natural Science. “My goal is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Meteorology and/or Atmospheric Sciences,” he says. “I’d like to work for the National Weather Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.” Contrucci recently presented research at an academic conference, the 2023 Geological Society of America Section Meeting in Reston, Va. “I really enjoyed the smaller class sizes in the Sciences at Delaware County Community College. It enabled me to form relationships with my professors and made it easy to get one-on-one assistance.” He is a member of the College’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society.
Alana Robinson of Sharon Hill received an associate degree in Liberal Arts. “I'm proud to say Delaware County Community College has shaped who I am as a student.” A passionate believer in the power of community colleges, last month she assisted College President Dr. L. Joy Gates Black in advocating for the Commonwealth’s 15 community colleges at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. and she delivered remarks at the May 6 Groundbreaking Ceremony for the College’s new Southeast Campus in Drexel Hill. “This new full-service campus will continue the legacy of serving students in the heart of Delaware County as well as bring new students to the table by providing access to those who need it.” Robinson will attend Drexel University this fall as a recipient of The Drexel Promise scholarship for community college students. Her goal is to become a lawyer and to advocate for criminal justice reform.
Ariel Whaley of West Chester received an associate degree in Science for Health Professions. She is headed to West Chester University in the fall to enroll in its Biology with concentration in Ecology and Wildlife Conservation Program. She plans to pursue a career in environmental education and to help guarantee it will someday be a requirement in public school curriculums. She enjoys tutoring children for a nonprofit organization called Mighty Writers, a bilingual program specifically tailored for Spanish-speaking students. She is a member of the College’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society and was recently named to the 2022-2023 All-Pennsylvania (All-PA) Academic Team, which Phi Theta Kappa and the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges sponsor, earning two years of free tuition to West Chester.
Photo Caption 1: Delaware County Community College President Dr. L. Joy Gates Black addresses the Class of 2023.
Photo Caption 2: Tashea White of Upper Darby, the student Commencement speaker, addresses her classmates.
Photo Caption 3: Jordan Dougherty of Holmes graduated with honors with an associate degree in Science, Mathematics/Natural Science in August 2022. He passed away in February 2023 after a long battle with cancer. His mother, Krisann Dougherty, and his sister, Kasey Dougherty, accept his diploma on his behalf.