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WNC Business

BRCC celebrated record-breaking commencement

Dec 18, 2023 07:27PM ● By WNC Business

HENDERSONVILLE – In honor of the fall class of 2023 graduates, Blue Ridge Community College hosted a graduation ceremony on Friday, December 15, in a packed Blue Ridge Conference Hall in Flat Rock.

Last year's 2022 commencement previously held the College’s record for most students graduated during a fall ceremony, awarding 195 credentials to 186 graduates. This fall’s event took the lead with 205 credentials awarded to 195 graduates. The increase continues a trend for Blue Ridge in recent years, as its 2022-23 academic year broke numerous school records for historic enrollment and graduation numbers between the fall and spring commencement ceremonies.

During her opening remarks on Friday evening, Blue Ridge President Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood praised the graduates for their hard work and diligence. 

“Your Blue Ridge education will continuously serve you by preparing the path before you,” she said. “And as you set your course toward many new summits in the decades to come, you do so alongside a strong Blue Ridge alumni network of thousands upon thousands of accomplished members of our community and workforce.”

Emergency Services Director for Henderson County Jimmy Brissie served as the inspiring commencement keynote speaker, comparing the four seasons of a year to the seasons of a person’s life. He spoke of life lessons involving newness, hard work, change, rest and more, while reminding graduates to remember the help they received along their journey.

“I encourage you to thank those who helped make this [graduation day] possible,” he said. “Thank your family, your friends, your teachers, and your staff; each of them made their commitment to helping you succeed.”

The uplifting ceremony concluded after Dr. Leatherwood asked graduates to move their tassels from right to left, a tradition symbolizing a student’s accomplishment of becoming a graduate.

A link to the graduation ceremony video and the College’s photo gallery will be posted on the Blue Ridge website the week of December 18. For more information, visit

Source: Blue Ridge Community College