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AACC Expects to Set Records at 49th Commencement

May 23, 2011

      Anne Arundel Community College expects to set new records this year in the number of graduates, degrees and certificates awarded at the 49th Commencement on Thursday, May 26, when an unprecedented number of graduates will walk across the stage on the Arnold campus. 

      Through May 16, 600 graduates from the Class of 2011 had received caps and gowns for the ceremony. The Board of Trustees approved the award of about 2,088 degrees and certificates for the Class of 2011 compared to 1,814 degrees and certificates for the Class of 2010. 

      Delivering the keynote address this year is Nancy S. Grasmick, Ph.D., state superintendent of schools. Grasmick is the longest-serving appointed state schools superintendent in America. The Baltimore native, who plans to retire June 30, 2011, has led the Maryland K-12 system for two decades. Grasmick made history in 1991 as Maryland’s first woman selected to serve as state superintendent of schools. 

      Active on area boards and commissions, Grasmick has served two decades on the Governor’s Executive Council, Maryland Education Council and executive committee of the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board. Other memberships include the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Board, Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, secretary-treasurer of the Maryland State Board of Education, and the President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education.

      The valedictorian is Dysha Huggins-Hodge, a transfer studies major who earned much of her 4.0 grade point average through online classes while deployed in Afghanistan. 

      Graduates must report to Jenkins Gymnasium by 5:30 p.m., when instructions are given and the procession line assembles. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m., rain or shine. 

      College officials urge graduates’ families to arrive on campus by 6 p.m. if they wish to be seated in the tent on the Athletic Practice Field; only those with guest tickets may sit in the tent. When guest seats fill in the tent, overflow guests will be directed to the air-conditioned simulcast site at the Pascal Center for Performing Arts. 

      The ceremony will air live on the college website,, and via AACC TV, which is Anne Arundel County cable TV Channel 95 for Comcast and Broadstripe customers and Channel 35 for Verizon customers. The college will rebroadcast commencement on the channel several times after the event. 

      A reception for graduates and their families will take place in the Student Union following the ceremony. For commencement information, call 410-777-2243.

Related Press Release - AACC Celebrates 49th Commencement with Record Numbers