Group of nursing graduates smile while standing together onstage

Blue Ridge Honors Nursing Graduates with Pinning Ceremony

Graduates of the Blue Ridge Community College Nursing program gather together at the May 11 pinning ceremony. This traditional rite of passage honors the students’ achievements before they walk across the graduation stage. (Photo provided by the Blue Ridge Community College Marketing and Communications Department.)

On Wednesday, May 11, Blue Ridge Community College’s nursing graduates gathered in the College’s Conference Hall to celebrate their accomplishments at the annual nurse pinning ceremony.

The event is a traditional rite of passage that each nursing student completes before attending the College’s commencement ceremony and entering their profession. Thirty-one students were pinned, with three graduates honored for completing the WNC Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) program, which involves dual enrollment in the Western Carolina University School of Nursing.

During the ceremony, Blue Ridge President Dr. Laura Leatherwood spoke highly of the nursing profession.

“Nurses are some of the most selfless, caring and hardworking people I’ve ever known,” she said. “Thank you for choosing this as your life’s work, and may you be blessed beyond measure with a career full of satisfaction and success.”

Fifteen of the celebrated graduates maintained a 3.0 or higher grade point average (GPA) during their studies.

At the ceremony, Alex Watson won the Academic Excellence Award; Jessica Garcia-Lopez won the Extra Mile Award; Tiffany Bradley won the Henderson County Clinical Excellence Award; and Claire Dysart won the Transylvania County Clinical Excellence Award.

The following students received pins at the pinning ceremony:

Sydney Allison (RIBN)
Tiffany Bradley
Anastasia Brownfield
Ellie Burris
Derek Clement
Breanna Dobbins
Claire Dysart
Hunter Elms (RIBN)
Glenda Galsim
Jessica Garcia-Lopez
Sara Gibbens
Richard Grissom
Rhiannon Hanners
Justin Huggins
Rachel Karst
Bethany Koniarczyk
Jonathan Little
Makenna Mann
Micah Parsons (RIBN)
Taylor Peace
Brianna Plummer
Seneca Price
Citlali Resendiz Trejo
Madison Riffe
Destiny Swinehart
Jansen Walker
April Ward
Alex Watson
Shelby Wells
Theodore Whitsett
Kassidi Wilkie

For more information about Blue Ridge Community College’s nursing program, visit, or contact Director of Nursing Deborah Henry at (828) 694-1908.