Harford Community College held its 60th annual commencement Thursday in the APGFCU Arena.
Approximately 350 graduates crossed the stage during Thursday evening's ceremony, during which graduates of the Class of 2018 received an associate degree and/or certificate in a traditional cap and gown ceremony.
Professor Bill Stiffler, faculty marshal, and Professor Dorothy E. Miller, EdD, student marshal, led the processional. The ceremony began with a welcome from Dr. Dianna G. Phillips, president of Harford Community College.
Dr. Patricia A. Burt led a student choral group in singing the national anthem and Richard D. Norling, chair of the HCC Board of Trustees, gave opening remarks.
Dr. Steven L. Thomas, vice president for academic affairs, presented the candidates for degrees and certificates, and Phillips conferred the degrees and certificates. The HCC Class of 2018 includes August and December 2017 graduates and May 2018 candidates for graduation. A total of 1,042 degrees or certificates were awarded by Harford Community College for the 2017-18 academic year.
Nicholas V. Taylor, who delivered the student graduate address, started classes at HCC while still in high school. After graduating from high school, he took a job at a local bank where he has become the assistant branch manager. At HCC, he studied business marketing, served as an English tutor for three semesters and helped coach multiple students in different subjects. Taylor continues to juggle his job, being a successful student and starting his own investment business. He will be transferring to UMUC to double major in business administration and cyber security with a minor in finance.
The Outstanding Student Leadership Award was presented to Hailee I. Domich by Dr. Jacqueline S. Jackson, vice president for student affairs and institutional effectiveness. This award recognizes a student who has made significant overall contributions to the college and community where personal time, effort and dedication are evident. The student must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Domich has been involved in numerous activities. She served as the president of Psyched Up!, a student organization that offers programming related to wellness, mental health and community outreach. She was the president of the National Society of Leadership and Success, the newly formed leadership society at Harford Community College, and was executive senator of the Student Government Association. A member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Domich is enrolled in the honors program. She was also a member of the Fighting Owls women’s tennis team. As an orientation leader, she inspired new students with her passion for HCC. She completed the Emerging Leaders Program and was selected to attend the NACA Summer Leadership event. She is a member of the American Association of University Women. In addition, Domich participated in the 2018 Alternative Winter Break in Houston, Texas, to work with community members on the rebuilding efforts related to Hurricane Harvey.
Phillips presented David and Diane Dixon with 2018 Harford Community College Distinguished Alumni Awards. The award honors the achievements of former students who have attained outstanding success in their chosen profession, demonstrated a commitment to the community and maintained an interest in and service to Harford Community College.
For more than 50 years, the Dixons helped grow the family business, Dixie Construction Co., from a small paving company to one of the top site preparation contractors in the mid-Atlantic region; today it employs more than 300 people. The Dixons believe in giving back to the community and have a long history of partnering with the college in support of scholarships and programming – including naming the Dixie Construction Fitness Center in the Susquehanna Center. They have both also given generously of their time, having served on the Harford Community College Foundation Board of Directors since 2008. They also support numerous organizations in the county and beyond including the Harford County Public Library, SARC, Special Olympics Maryland, Humane Society of Harford County, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, the Boy Scouts of America and numerous Harford County recreation councils and volunteer fire organizations.