Fall Commencement Set for Dec. 14 at Greenville Convention Center

2023 PCC graduate celebrates with signs in front of large PCC Blue banner.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College will honor this year’s summer and fall graduates during a Dec. 14 commencement ceremony at the Greenville Convention Center.

The program will begin at 7 p.m., with PCC Trustee Gary Evans serving as commencement speaker.

Of the 505 graduates being honored this month, more than 200 are expected to participate in the ceremony. Collectively, they have earned nearly 900 academic credentials from Pitt.

“Out of the nation’s many higher educational institutions, these individuals chose Pitt Community College to help them build the foundation for a wonderful career and life, and it’s been our honor to do so,” PCC President Lawrence Rouse said. “I’m proud of their hard work, commitment to self-improvement and persistence in completing their educational goals, and I’m excited about them becoming part of a skilled local workforce as health care personnel, construction workers, computer technicians, emergency officials and many other professions.”

Before turning their tassels, the graduating class will receive sage advice from Evans, an Ayden native who earned associate degrees in Agriculture Business and Agriculture Chemicals from Pitt in 1984.

“During a groundbreaking ceremony for PCC’s first campus building in 1964, State Rep. W.A. Forbes said Pitt was extremely important to Pitt County, that it gave people ‘a way in life and a better life,’” Evans said. “I am a living example of how PCC makes a difference in people’s lives.”

For much of the past 20 years, Evans has contributed his time, energy and leadership to ensuring his alma mater meets the workforce development needs of eastern North Carolina business and industry. He was first appointed to PCC’s trustees board by Pitt County Commissioners in 2003 and again in 2017. All told, he has 13 years of board service, including seven as chairman.

In addition to his role as a trustee and service on several of the board’s subcommittees, Evans has been a longtime member of the PCC Foundation Board and its Finance/Audit Committee, which makes him a crucial link between the college’s governing board and its chief fundraising organization. His participation has been much more than simply relaying information between two boards, though.

Not only has Evans assisted with many of the PCC Foundation’s fundraising events, he and his wife, Wendy, demonstrated their commitment to higher education by establishing an endowed scholarship with the organization to support PCC Construction & Industrial Technology students. He also helped lead the Foundation’s first capital campaign in 2008, which raised more than $7 million in 14 months to construct a 35,765-square-foot addition to the college’s health sciences training facilities.

Outside of his work with PCC, Evans’ background as a farmer and landowner with 20 years’ experience as an executive with Pyxus International, Inc., and its subsidiary, Alliance One International, Inc., has proven beneficial to North Carolina’s green industry. He shared his expertise while serving as a member of the North Carolina Tobacco Foundation Board and North Carolina Tobacco Foundation Audit/Investment Committee through N.C. State University. He has also served on N.C. State’s Audit and Investment Committee.

An active member of his church, Evans served seven years as a deacon and is dedicated to Christian outreach. He is particularly passionate about helping people who are battling drug and alcohol dependency and supports a Christian-based addiction treatment center that helps them discover and attain the abundant lives for which they were created.

Due to limited space, individuals planning to attend graduation must present a ticket at the door to enter the convention center.