Tarboro native returns home to address grads

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Tarboro native Janice Bryant Howroyd, founder and CEO of The ActOne Group, gives the keynote address during Commencement on May 10 at Edgecombe Community College.


From Contributed Reports

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Janice Bryant Howroyd, founder and chief executive officer of The ActOne Group and a native of Tarboro, had a “conversation about truth” with graduates at Edgecombe Community College during commencement exercises held May 10.

Howroyd gave the keynote address during the ceremony, which marked the college’s 50th graduating class. The first graduating class in 1969 had fewer than 30 members.

ECC’s Class of 2019 comprises 496 students who received 585 degrees, diplomas and certificates. Thirty-seven of the students were recognized for completing Adult High School Equivalency and Adult High School diplomas.

“Truth is the foundation of trust, and trust is how you build your life, it’s how your build your career, and it’s how you build a business,” Howroyd told the graduates.

She outlined five steps for designing a life built on trust:

■ “Be very open to explore who you truly are.”

■ “Welcome earning other people’s trust. Don’t walk jaded into your future.”

■ “Be prepared to continue studying. This is the commencement of your future; it is not the completion of your learning.”

■ “You must continue to invest in your own education and in those of others.”

■ “Never compromise who you are personally to become who you wish to be professionally.”

This year’s commencement was the first for ECC President Greg McLeod, who joined the college in August 2018.

Student Michael Parker Jr. was honored as the 2019 Dallas Herring Achievement Award nominee from ECC. A high school dropout, he entered ECC’s Basic Skills program in 2014, successfully completed his GED, then enrolled in the Business Administration program.

Among his many achievements, he won the Phi Theta Kappa honor society International Distinguished Chapter Member Award in 2018. Only 30 individuals are selected worldwide each year for this honor. Parker graduated with a degree in Business Administration and plans to pursue a four-year degree in international business.

Robert “Chap” Lachapelle IV was recognized as the N.C. Community College Academic Excellence Award recipient from ECC. He received an Associate in Arts degree, which is a college transfer degree.

At ECC, Lachapelle was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and was an active member of the High Altitude Balloon Club. Like Parker did in 2018, Lachapelle this year won the Phi Theta Kappa International Distinguished Chapter Member Award. He will transfer to North Carolina Wesleyan College in the fall.

Tyshun Powell, who received an associate degree in Business Administration, was honored as the Gov. Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award nominee from the college. He served as president of the Student Government Association this year and vice president last year.

Powell participated in EMPAC, the college’s minority male mentoring program, and he was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, assisting in numerous service projects sponsored by this group.

Special presentations were made by the Edgecombe Community College Foundation to an instructor and a staff member. Nacole Everette, program chair of Health Information Technology, received the 2019 Excellence in Teaching Award. Brittany Harrelson, administrative assistant for Continuing Education, received the 2019 Staff Award.