Leave a Lasting Impression on the Alumni Graduate Walk
(This article appeared in Summer ’14 edition of Career Focus)
Three of the bricks along the beautiful new Graduate Walk constructed at Sandhills Community College have an unusual origin.
Most of the bricks are being purchased by alumni of the college to symbolize their pride in Sandhills and to thank the college for the role it played in each graduate’s success. For a $100 contribution to the Sandhills Alumni Association, each brick is laser engraved with an alumnus or alumna’s name and placed on this lovely pathway.
But three of the bricks were purchased last year by employees as Christmas gifts for the members of the executive team at Southern Software, executives who are alumni of Sandhills Community College. The fun gift idea was the brainchild of Thomas Murray, Sandhills Class of 1995, who is the Quality Assurance Manager at Southern Software.
“I was purchasing a brick for myself and thought it might make a nice surprise for CEO Jennifer J. Meggs, President John Roscoe and Vice President Cameron Dew,” Murray reports. “I asked other employees if they would like to chip in and I got a very positive response. At the Christmas party when we told them about their bricks, they were very pleased!”
Southern Software is an employee-owned company founded in 1988 by Nick Picerno who taught computer classes at Sandhills in the late 80s.
“It’s not unusual for our team to think ‘outside the box,’” said Meggs, “but I have to say, Thomas thought outside the box with this gift idea – it’s better than any gift card available and was a complete surprise to each of us. The connection you form with your college or university is a lifelong bond so having my name forever a part of the history of the campus is very special to me.”
Meggs was the Sandhills Community College Distinguished Alumna of 2011 and spoke at Commencement that year. “Sandhills alumni are grateful for the excellent foundation the college provides,” she remarked. “It’s an honor to now have my name on the Graduate Walk.”
Murray, who went on to earn his bachelor’s degree at UNC–Charlotte, says it was easy to find employees willing to contribute to the Graduate Walk bricks for the executive team. “After all, over half of our development/support department graduated from Sandhills," he said. “In fact, Moore County Commissioner Larry Caddell who served as CEO of Southern Software from 2004 until 2012, is a Sandhills graduate.”
“Many employees already knew about the Graduate Walk and are ordering a brick for themselves,” says Murray. “You’ll see a lot of Southern Software names on that walk, that’s for sure.”
The Graduate Walk, a project of the Sandhills Community College Alumni Association was designed and constructed to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the chartering of the College.
“Bricks are still available to be engraved for the Graduate Walk,” says Alumni Relations Associate Director Jennifer Dail “We are getting responses from all over the country; from alumni who want to be included and from people who want to honor a graduate whether they are a recent one or graduated many years ago. Some are even given in memoriam.
By ordering prior to July 1 each year, your brick will be installed by Homecoming which is held late September each year.
To purchase a brick, contact Jennifer Dail at (910) 695-3712 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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