PITTSBURGH—The 2010 commencement ceremony of the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) will include the first graduates who attended CCAC through the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program. They and other graduates will hear from speaker and CCAC alumnus Thomas Christopher, president of Follett Higher Education Group, in the ceremony at 7 p.m. May 13 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
Mr. Christopher, a 1968 graduate of CCAC–Boyce campus in Monroeville, oversees Follett Higher Education Group, North America’s largest higher education bookstore operator and a leading provider of used books and retailing services to independently managed bookstores. He has also served as executive vice president of operations for Pier One, president of Barnes & Noble’s Retail Division and president, chief operating officer and director of Restoration Hardware in California. He has developed a record of contributing to significant growth in sales and profitability. In 2007, he received the CCAC Legendary Alumnus Award.
Among the students participating in CCAC’s 2010 commencement is Molly Schwartz of Pittsburgh, who in December 2009 was the first Pittsburgh Promise scholarship recipient to earn a degree from CCAC. Ms. Schwartz, a biology major, began taking CCAC courses during her senior year at Brasher High School and plans to transfer to the University of Pittsburgh this fall. Her goal is to earn a PhD and conduct stem cell research, a dream inspired by her younger brother’s struggle with diabetes.
A total of 18 Pittsburgh Promise participants are eligible to participate in commencement. Collegewide, more than 400 out of 1,748 eligible graduates plan to participate in the ceremony.
The Community College of Allegheny County is the largest institution of postsecondary higher education in Pennsylvania. The college serves 30,000 credit students through 170 degree and certificate programs and offers thousands of lifelong learning non-credit and workforce development courses to 35,000 students annually. Incorporating a learning-centered environment committed to the future of the region, CCAC continues to expand its reach through innovative programming and accessible instruction offered via convenient day, evening, weekend and online courses. With four campuses and six centers serving Allegheny County and surrounding communities, CCAC endeavors to fulfill its mission to provide affordable access to quality education and offer a dynamic, diverse and supportive learning environment that prepares the region’s residents for academic, professional and personal success in our changing global society.