Central Piedmont holds commencement May 16

Central Piedmont Community College today hosted its 2018-2019 commencement ceremony at Bojangles' Coliseum in Charlotte. Almost 875 students "marched" and received their college degrees. More than 2,500 students were eligible to graduate this year. Since Central Piedmont holds only spring graduation ceremonies each year, 2018 summer and fall semester graduates participated in the exercises as well.

During the morning festivities, Ms. Desiree Kinker, a 2019 Central Piedmont graduate, addressed this year's graduates. This is the second time Central Piedmont has had a student keynote speaker at graduation. Desiree, a culinary arts student, shared her personal story with her peers. It was a tale of perseverance; her determination to complete her education, despite a period of homelessness; and overcoming the odds. She stood out as a prime example of a student who valued and leveraged the relationships around her, worked hard to build a better life, and brought light to any space she entered.

In addition to hearing from Desiree, attendees also heard from Adam Brooks, senior manager of learning and development for Charter Communications, who was recognized with this year's Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award, and Brandy Garrett, science department chair for Blenheim Elementary Middle School, who was honored with the college's inaugural Young Alumni Award of Excellence.

View photos from the day.
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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Campus, Community, Events, Foundation News.

Central Piedmont reveals new branding

What began 15 months ago with the start of a branding and marketing study -- and journeyed through the opinions and ideas of more than 3,000 existing and prospective students, parents, faculty and staff, and community members -- culminated today in a college-wide celebration, on all six campuses, as Central Piedmont Community College launched its new branding, which includes new college colors, logo, and website.

"We hope this brand transformation will excite all of those in our Central Piedmont family, energizing and propelling them forward to do the passionate work needed to help our students not just wonder, 'what if,' but set an academic goal and achieve or surpass it," said Central Piedmont President Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer. "Central Piedmont calls on all its employees, students, board members, and community supporters to now be brand ambassadors, helping to tell the college's story to the community."

The college's "brand" is the emotional and psychological connection people have with Central Piedmont; its personality. The college's logo, website, marketing materials, faculty, staff, and students all are important parts of its brand.

The brand study results also emphasized the need for Central Piedmont to elevate its visual standing in the marketplace to match the caliber of education and services it provides. The "Central Piedmont green" has been replaced with a new color scheme: gold and gray. The old "green box" logo is gone and replaced with a cleaner, more collegiate and modern design. During the logo-design process, multiple students groups expressed their desire for a logo that stands well with the corporate and other institutional marks in Charlotte and conveys the seriousness in which Central Piedmont students approach their programs of study and pursue life-changing credentials.

As the final piece of the branding/marketing process, the college has launched a totally new website to focus more on its visitors, mainly future Central Piedmont students and their families, inviting them to easily explore and connect with the college.

The college partnered with Pittsburgh-based Barkley REI to create the new website at cpcc.edu. More than putting a new face put on the old website, Central Piedmont teams plowed through the nearly 30,000 pages of content on the old website to create a thoroughly modern, audience-focused way to present the information site visitors need to know. The look and feel, functionality and voice of the new website were created with intense input from hundreds of faculty, staff, students (prospective and current) and community members.

At a celebration event today on Central Campus that was streamed live to all campuses, the college revealed the new branding including the new logo, college colors, initial advertising campaign concept, and redesigned website and also had "reveal" parties for students at every campus. 

To see the new brand and website, please visit cpcc.edu Read more

Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Campus, Community, Events, Foundation News.

Central Piedmont names 2019 Alumni Award recipients

During its spring commencement on May 16 at 10 a.m., at Bojangles' Coliseum, Central Piedmont Community College will present Adam S. Brooks, senior manager of learning and development for Charter Communications, with the 2019 Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award, and Brandy R. Garrett, science department chair for Blenheim Elementary Middle School, in Bennettsville, S.C., with the inaugural Young Alumni Award of Excellence. The awards recognize a former Central Piedmont student who has benefited significantly from experiences at Central Piedmont and whose efforts have helped the community.

Adam S. Brooks
Brooks graduated from Central Piedmont in 2004 with an associate degree in business administration. Since that time, he has built a successful career, working in a variety of fields, including instructional technologies, training management, new media communications, marketing, and many others. A consummate servant leader, Brooks seeks to place the needs of the local community first. As a result, he can be found volunteering on a number of boards for area nonprofits and economic development teams, including the Matthews Economic Development Advisory Committee, The Red Brick Partnership, and The Armed Forces Museum and Archives of the Carolinas, or helping Charlotte men in need by gifting them a pair of quality, vintage dress shoes that he personally restores through his shoe ministry. A passionate entrepreneur, Brooks is a frequent guest speaker, writer, and contributor who has founded a number of community events in the Queen City that highlight innovation and startups, including THE Geek Fest at Central Piedmont, BarCamp Charlotte and EdCamp Charlotte.

Brandy R. Garrett
Since graduating from Central Piedmont in 2009 with an associate in arts, Garrett has earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from UNC Charlotte, and a master's degree in education from Francis Marion University. Today, she is married, a mom to five children by adoption, and a proud middle school teacher, who works to ensure the in-need children she teaches are well loved. She routinely raises money for her students, to guarantee they have the supplies they need to learn, and was among the first to raise her hand to help those impacted by Hurricanes Florence and Michael in fall 2018. Her commitment extends well beyond her classroom; in fact, each year she returns to Central Piedmont to volunteer at the college's annual Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony, an event that honors the academic achievements of current Central Piedmont students.

The Hagemeyer Award takes its name from Dr. Richard H. Hagemeyer, CPCC president for 23 years, who led the college from its beginnings as a trade school with 1,200 students to one of the largest N.C. community colleges. View the previous award recipients at cpccfoundation.org/alumni/hagemeyer-award-honorees. To learn more about the Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award and its requirements, please visit www.cpccfoundation.org/hagemeyer.

This is the first year the college has awarded a Young Alumni Award of Excellence. To be considered for the award, the recipient must not only meet all of the Hagemeyer Award requirements, but also must have graduated from Central Piedmont within the last 10 years. To learn more about the Young Alumni Excellence Award, visit www.cpccfoundation.org/youngalumni. Read more

Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Community, Foundation News.

Foundation Scholar 2019 Central Piedmont Commencement Speaker

Central Piedmont culinary student, Desiree Kinker, has been chosen as the 2019 Central Piedmont commencement speaker. Desiree is a Merancas Technical Careers Scholar as well as a Ruth G. Shaw Scholar.  Desiree Kinker in Central Piedmont culinary student chef's coat

Desiree Kinker first started at Central Piedmont in 2010. Dealing with the day-to-day college grind can be challenging by itself, but Desiree dealt with another situation many college students don't have to face homelessness.

"I started at Central Piedmont in 2010 and have been homeless almost the entire time," she said. "I lived in a homeless shelter for a year, left college for five years and currently live in transitional housing. I haven't had a place to call my own, so that's why I came back to Central Piedmont, because it truly felt like a home."

Since her return to college, Desiree is confident and making the most of her opportunities. She received two scholarships - Ruth G. Shaw Scholarship and Merancas Technical Careers Scholarship which, according to her, allowed her to "relieve some of my financial fears."

She is enrolled in the college's culinary arts degree program, an active participant in culinary club and a Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) international honor society member. "I chose to resume my studies because I want a better life," Desiree said. "I have been able to interact and learn from mentors and form bonds with female business leaders around Charlotte. The faculty and students here have really had my back and pushed me to be better. I hope to be a light in the darkness for those who may be struggling."

Last year for the first time in the history of Central Piedmont, a student was selected as the commencement speaker. Patsy Montesinos, also a Ruth G. Shaw Scholar, was the 2018 speaker. Patsy is completing her first year at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she is majoring in broadcast journalism.

This year's graduation ceremony will be held at Bojangles' Coliseum on Thursday, May 16, at 10 a.m. Read more

Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Events, Foundation News.

Seniors can still get a tax break

Some seniors are finding that their taxes are going up despite a more generous standard deduction.  This is true because of a tax provision that requires seniors 70 ½ and older to take money from their retirement accounts even if they don't need the cash.


Many individuals who itemized in the past may find that taking the now-higher standard deduction is a better tax move.  However, if you take the standard tax deduction on your tax return, you can't itemize and claim certain deductions such as charitable contributions.


But there is a way for some seniors to still get credit for their giving, thereby reducing their taxable income even if they don't itemize.


One often over-looked tax break is the Qualified Charitable Deduction (QCD).  If you transfer funds directly from you IRA to a 501©3 organization such as the Central Piedmont Community College Foundation, those dollars count toward your Required Minimum Deduction (RMD) for the year and are not counted as income.  The net effect:  You are getting a tax deduction for charitable giving without itemizing deductions.  If you normally make charitable contributions, this is a great way to help the College and receive a benefit yourself.  
For more information on giving through your IRA or other retirement assets, please contact
              Brenda Lea
              Director, Planned Giving
              brenda.lea@cpcc.edu
              704.330.6803


(Portions of this article taken from THE WASHINGTON POST, Michelle Singletary, 03/25/19)

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Posted in Alumni, Community, Gift Planning.

Central Piedmont seeks nominations for 2019 Alumni Awards

Do you know a Central Piedmont Community College graduate who is making a tremendous difference in the community? Nominations are currently being sought for the 2019 Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award and the 2019 Young Alumni Award of Excellence. These awards recognize Central Piedmont graduates who has significantly benefited from his/her experiences at Central Piedmont and whose efforts have helped the community.

Nominations are being sought for individuals who have:

  • demonstrated community involvement/professional involvement, social responsibility and impact
  • acquired scholastic and learning skills that have led to continued personal and educational growth
  • improved his or her economic status and social capital as a result of attending Central Piedmont
  • invested in the lives of others and is seen as a role model
  • graduated within the last 10 years (Young Alumni Award of Excellence only)

The college will recognize this year's winners at Central Piedmont's commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 16, 2019, and a one-year scholarship will be granted to a Central Piedmont student in an area of study reflective of the winner's background.

Nomination forms are available on the Foundation's website.

Completed nomination forms should be submitted online; or mailed to Christa Newkirk, Office of Alumni Relations, PO Box 35009, Charlotte, NC, 28235. The deadline for nominations is March 22, 2019, at 6 p.m. For more information, contact Christa Newkirk at christa.newkirk@cpcc.edu or call 704.330.6808.
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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Community, Foundation News.

Rock band Metallica’s Foundation Awards Central Piedmont $100,000 grant

As part of a new workforce education initiative, the rock band Metallica's All Within My Hands Foundation (AWMH) has awarded Central Piedmont Community College a $100,000 grant to support career and technical education programs.
The Metallica All Within My Hands Foundation
The band partnered with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to select 10 community colleges from across the country that best demonstrated support of relevant jobs skill training for community college students. The funds will help more than 1,000 students at each college gain the training they need to enter the workforce. These students will become the first cohort of Metallica Scholars.

"We are thrilled to be part of Metallica's commitment to the community college system and improving career opportunities for community college students in technical programs," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. "The group's gift will help us better support our students as they seek the education and training they need to secure employment and start family-sustaining careers."

Central Piedmont will use the grant funds to provide direct support for students enrolled in one of four healthcare career programs but need financial assistance to complete their studies and become licensed healthcare professionals. The project will focus on high-demand healthcare programs, including Dental Assisting, Medical Assisting, Ophthalmic Medical Personnel, and Pharmacy Technology. The project will target underrepresented students who would not be able to complete their program or obtain credentials without financial support. The goal of the initiative is to ensure students receive relevant jobs skills that will make them competitive in the healthcare field.

AWMH will work closely with AACC to implement and manage the program. Said Walter G. Bumphus, president and CEO of AACC, "Colleges across the country provide pathways to well-paying jobs through programs, services and training that lead to in-demand skills, certificates and degrees for students. These programs are responsive to the needs of local businesses and provide a pipeline of qualified workers to local industry. It's a win-win for our students and the local economy. For Metallica to see the benefit of these programs and invest in the communities that have supported them is a testament to the power of education and we are proud to do this work with them."
Recipient colleges of the group's $1,000,000 grant are all AACC members and based in and around stops on Metallica's 2017-2019 WorldWired Tour. To see a complete list of recipients, visit http://top40-charts.com/news.php?nid=142405.

About AWMH
The AWMH Foundation was established in 2017 by Metallica as a means to invest in the people and places that have supported the band. It also provides a mechanism for Metallica's fans to become engaged in philanthropy and volunteerism. The foundation is focused on supporting sustainable communities through workforce education (in addition to combatting hunger through an alliance with Feeding America), and is fully supported by the band, the AWMH board, and by fans. All expenses of the foundation are covered by the band, the board, and a few special friends, so that 100 percent of donations go to the organizations it supports. AWMH is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. See www.allwithinmyhands.org
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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Foundation News.

Hundreds of students to receive laptops through Gambrell Foundation grant

As many as 700 first-year, full-time, degree-seeking students at Central Piedmont Community College will receive laptop computers annually through a five-year, $875,000 grant from the Gambrell Foundation of Charlotte. Some 3,500 students will receive laptops during the grant period.

The Gambrell Foundation and Central Piedmont are partnering on this initiative to help address the technology divide that challenges lower-income students and often hinders their ability to complete their programs of study. The college and foundation believe making technology available to lower-income students will help them achieve greater academic success and ultimately greater economic mobility.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force, in its 2017 "Leading on Opportunity" report, identified "access to technology" as a key to realizing economic mobility.

First-year students with the highest level of financial need--those qualifying for the maximum amount of federal Pell grants--will be eligible to receive a laptop through the Gambrell grant.

Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president, explained that the program will be more than simply a student recruitment tool. "We think this innovative and generous grant will lead to greater academic success among our lower-income students," Deitemeyer said. "We think this segment of our student population will achieve increased retention and degree completion rates. More students earning degrees and moving into family sustaining careers or pursuing more education will have a positive impact on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community.
"The college will track the progress of these students during the five-year grant period to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of the program. We thank the Gambrell Foundation yet again for being our partner in this timely economic mobility initiative," Deitemeyer said.

Central Piedmont administrators also hope the program will point to a means of reducing the college's overall technology costs. Getting technology into the hands of more students could reduce the need to construct and maintain expensive on-campus computer labs.

"No student can thrive in today's wired world without the basic necessity of a laptop, a bedrock tool for success and inclusion in the digital world," said Sally Gambrell Bridgford. "We are thrilled to partner once again with Central Piedmont to support educational opportunity for Charlotte's future leaders."

The laptop initiative will go into effect with the fall 2019 semester.

About the Gambrell Foundation
The Gambrell Foundation dedicates its resources, efforts and collaborative spirit to ending inequity in our society through strategic investments in smart, effective, and innovative change initiatives that drive results. We believe that everyone deserves a seat at the table and that better solutions and ideas are developed in partnership with the communities we serve. See https://gambrellfoundation.org/history/.
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Posted in Alumni, Community, Foundation News.

Gambrell Foundation Pledges $1 Million

The Gambrell Foundation of Charlotte has pledged $1 million to Central Piedmont Community College to creategeometric shape logo with text Gambrell Foundation the Gambrell Opportunity Scholarships. These scholarships will be part of Central Piedmont's larger Opportunity Scholarship initiative, which seeks to assist some of Mecklenburg County's most needy and yet deserving high school students forge a path to greater economic mobility.

The Gambrell Foundation grant will support 75 recent graduates of CMS high schools that serve majority low-income student populations. The scholarships will provide for the full cost of earning a two-year associate degree, including tuition, books and fees. All Gambrell scholarship recipients will receive laptop computers and participate in Central Piedmont's Summer Bridge academic enrichment program. The scholarships also will provide for a full-time academic advisor/career coach to help the students with course selection, internships and career placement or moving on to further education.

"Economic mobility is directly tied to educational opportunity, and we are delighted to partner with Central Piedmont Community College to help open doors and eliminate barriers for deserving students," said Sally Gambrell Bridgford. "Our investment will help this generation achieve economic self-sufficiency on their path to reach the American dream."

Central Piedmont established the Opportunity Scholarship Initiative in late 2016 to address the economic mobility challenges faced by many CMS students. To date, the college has welcomed 95 Opportunity Scholars in two classes, the first of which will graduate in May 2019.

"We thank the Gambrell Foundation for its generous grant. These scholarships will have a profound, life-changing impact on some deserving students who might not be able to attend college otherwise," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "So many of the young people in our community just need an opportunity, and with a little assistance, they can go on to do great things that will benefit their families and transform our community."

The first class of Gambrell Opportunity Scholars will begin their studies at Central Piedmont in fall 2019.


About the Gambrell Foundation
The Gambrell Foundation dedicates its resources, efforts and collaborative spirit to ending inequity in our society through strategic investments in smart, effective, and innovative change initiatives that drive results. We believe that everyone deserves a seat at the table and that better solutions and ideas are developed in partnership with the communities we serve. See https://gambrellfoundation.org/history/.
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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Community, Foundation News.

Capital Bank Foundation Awards Central Piedmont $25,000 Prize

We're thrilled to be selected as one of Capital Bank Foundation's "25 Years of Giving" contest winners! Their phenomenal support of $25,000 for our Opportunity Scholarship Initiative will help us continue serving our students and our community in so many ways. We could not have done it without your votes! Group shot of CPCC students with confetti falling

What's a celebration without confetti? Our Opportunity Scholars, along with Dr. Deitemeyer and representatives from Capital Bank, recently gathered on the steps of the Zeiss Building to celebrate our $25,000 gift. See the video on our Facebook page. Again, we want to thank Capital Bank for selecting us as a winner and we want to thank everyone who voted for our video!

View the official press release.
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Posted in Alumni, Announcements, Community, Foundation News.

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