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United States Secretary of Education Miguel Angel Cardona will be the commencement speaker at Halifax Community College on May 15.

HCC will host the commencement exercises virtually for students receiving associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates at noon.


“Secretary Cardona will bring a great message of hope, opportunity and possibilities for each graduate. The story of his personal journey within the American educational system will be an inspiration for our HCC graduates,” said HCC President Michael Elam. “Secretary Cardona’s commitment and dedication to the success of all students is evident by his acceptance of our invitation.”

Said Elam: “We are extremely proud to have a member of the White House Cabinet addressing the Roanoke Valley. This is an exciting graduation even though it will differ from past years due to the circumstances we find ourselves in. We are grateful that Dr. Cardona accepted our invitation to deliver the commencement address and I am certain that our students will be greatly impacted by his words.” 

Cardona is the country’s 12th secretary of education and was confirmed on March 1.

Prior to his confirmation, he served as Connecticut commissioner of education from 2019 to 2021.

A native of Meriden, Connecticut, Cardona began his career at Israel Putnam Elementary School as a fourth-grade teacher in Meriden. 

In 2003, at the age of 27, he was named principal of Hanover School, also in Meriden, making him the youngest principal in the state.

Pre-graduation activities begin at 10:30 am and graduation begins at noon. 

The link for the virtual graduation can be accessed on the HCC website

Normal operations

HCC will resume normal operations on Monday, May 17. 

The college has been operating under strict COVID-19 guidelines and will resume normal operations. 

To ensure the safety for all faculty, staff, students and visitors, HCC will continue with temperature checks upon entrance to the campus, social distancing and preventive cleaning measures to ensure a safe environment.

“The safety of everyone involved is our primary focus. Throughout the past year, our dedicated staff have maintained a safe environment for the campus,” Elam said. “ We are excited to resume some normalcy after a very challenging year. We want to thank the HCC students and the community for their patience and understanding during this past year.”