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VHCC virtual commencement will celebrate student leaders and accomplishments

Post Date:06/19/2020 8:00 AM

Kellie Crowe
VHCC, Coordinator of PR & Marketing
276-739-2456  | 

VHCC virtual commencement will celebrate student leaders and accomplishments

ABINGDON, Va. - Virginia Highlands Community College
will host a virtual commencement ceremony for its class of 2020 graduates on Sunday, June 21 at 3 pm via livestream to YouTube and Facebook. The ceremony will feature two student speakers and honor 484 graduates who earned a combined total of 607 degrees and certificates during the 2019-2020 academic year.

“The VHCC community – faculty, staff, and the members of the College Board and Foundation Board – celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of the Class of 2020,” said Dr. Adam Hutchison, president of VHCC. “This class overcame unique challenges due to the extraordinary nature of COVID-19 circumstances and we are so proud of the resilience and determination they demonstrated.”

VHCC graduates Kenna Call and Chad Morrison have been selected to address their fellow graduates during the virtual ceremony. The selection process included nominations from faculty and staff as well as demonstration of outstanding academic performance, service to VHCC and the community, and personal traits or experiences that commend them as examples to the class of 2020.

Among the 2020 graduates are regional high school students designated as Governor’s Scholars. These students completed college credentials through dual enrollment and will be recognized during the ceremony. Nineteen Governor’s Scholars completed a certificate in general education, which is equivalent to the first year of a 4-year bachelor’s degree. Three students completed an associate of general education while dual-enrolled in high school: Andrea Nava of Chilhowie High School, Liyah French of Holston High School, and Morgan Campbell of Holston High School.

“Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, our graduates prevailed and we applaud their perseverance," said Catherine Brillhart, chair of the VHCC College Board. 

Whereas graduation ceremonies are traditionally held at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, Abingdon, state and federal guidelines related to COVID-19 necessitated alternative arrangements for the class of 2020. 


Kenna Call
Kenna Call, of Glade Spring, Virginia, graduated from Holston High School in 2017 and is graduating with an Associate of Arts & Sciences degree with a specialization in art. Call served as the public affairs officer of the VHCC Student Government Association during the 2019-2020 academic year. In addition to completing her studies at VHCC, Call recently began her professional career as a marketing specialist at the College. Her interests include art, photography, graphic design, and music.
Call encourages her fellow students, graduates, and members of the community to seize every opportunity to serve and participate in society.

“Get involved in everything in life! Don't stand on the sidelines. Get in the heart of what's happening in your family, your job, your school, and your community. You're an important part of it all. You might not know it yet -- but it’s the truth.”

Call plans to continue her career at VHCC while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social media management via Liberty University Online.

Kenna Call

Chad Morrison
Chad Morrison’s path to success at VHCC began in 1994 when he enrolled in the electrical technology program. He ultimately decided to return to working for his family’s carpentry business, but after marriage, raising children, and experiencing a workplace accident that left his career uncertain, he resolved to complete his degree. Morrison completed an Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Technology with a specialization in mechatronics in 2020.

Morrison emphasizes the importance of faith, family, and mentorship. His message to fellow graduates calls them to understand and exemplify leadership.

“Every team needs a good leader. A great leader is one who understands and demonstrates leading by example. A great leader admits his or her mistakes and is willing to listen. A great leader is always ready to learn something new and to do their best to make informed decisions. The lessons you can learn from such a leader are priceless. These lessons can be integrated into every part of your life.”

Morrison hopes to pursue further education and training in the field of renewable energy and is interested in teaching in the future.

Chad Morrison

Dr. Pansy Waycaster and Sara Combs will serve as faculty marshals and Timothy Sowder will serve as the student marshal. 

A digital commencement program as well as the Sunday, June 21 at 3 pm broadcast may be accessed via links found at

About Virginia Highlands Community College
Virginia Highlands Community College is one of the 23 comprehensive community colleges in the Virginia Community College System. VHCC has become a dynamic leader in Southwest Virginia with a primary goal of providing comprehensive and quality education and related services for residents throughout its region. We proudly serve the residents of Bristol Virginia, Washington County and the Western Part of Smyth County. The College is committed to teaching, learning & community building, and serves more than 2500 students, offering more than 80 academic areas of study.


A special thank you to Stan Barringer for writing this news release.