MECC Announces Class of 2021 – Largest Graduating Class in College’s 49 Year History

Big Stone Gap, VA – Mountain Empire Community College is honored to announce the Class of 2021, the largest graduating class in the history of the college, including 635 graduates earning 872 academic awards.

The Class of 2021 completed 343 Associate degrees – 164 Associate of Arts and Science degrees and 179 Associate of Applied Sciences degrees. Graduates earned 178 Certificates and 351 Career Studies Certificates.

“Mountain Empire Community College’s success is measured through the accomplishments of our graduates and never have we had such success,” said MECC President Kristen Westover. “I am so proud of our graduates for their perseverance in completing their goals during the challenges of a pandemic. I am also very proud of MECC’s faculty and staff who exhibited extreme flexibility and determination over the course of the last year as they ensured students were able to continue to learn, complete their coursework, and graduate.”

Graduates will be recognized with a Virtual Graduation Ceremony at the Central Drive-In Theater in Blackwood on Friday, May 14. Due to parking limitations, the ceremony is limited to graduates and their families only as well as college staff. MECC will feature the ceremony to include pre-recorded speeches by the College President, Advisory Board President, Vice Presidents, Special Guests, and Student Speakers. Refreshments will be provided. Guests are welcome to stay for the movie feature following the ceremony.

2021 Honored Student Speakers include Aleigha Cope of Jonesville and Jacob Kilgore of Coeburn. Cope is graduating Magna Cum Laude with an Associates of General Studies and Certificate of Health Sciences. She also graduated from Mountain Empire’s Dental Assisting program in December. Her parents are Robbie and Rebecca Cope, both of Jonesville. She has received the Student Diplomat and Life Campus Ministry award while at MECC. Kilgore is graduating Summa Cum Laude with two Associate of Applied Science degrees in Environmental Science and Environmental Science: Water/Wastewater Specialization and is an AIMS Scholar.  Kilgore obtained his Class 4 and Class 3 state operating license while in college and working full time.  He is currently employed by the City of Norton as a Plant Operator. 

For a complete list of the candidates for degrees, click here.