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R-CCC Honors Four Community Leaders During Black History Month Program

R-CCC Honors Four Community Leaders During Black History Month Program

“Excellence resides in Herford County.” These powerful words were spoken by Dr. Murray Williams, President of Roanoke-Chowan Community College. 

On February 27th, students, faculty, staff, and community members gathered in the college gymnasium to commemorate Black History Month. The program, titled “Black History Makers: Living the Legacy” provided a moment for both reflection on the past and celebration of the present. During this event, four local leaders who have significantly impacted Hertford County were honored.

The honorees of the day were: Dr. Viola Vaughan-Holland, the first female president of the Hertford County NAACP; Commissioner John Horton, a civic leader and community activist; Commissioner Andre’ M. Lassiter, Sr., a servant leader and community advocate; and The Honorable Rob Lewis, a former District Court Judge and Chief District Court Judge.

Ms. Carrington Dudley, Interim Director of Admissions and Student Life commenced the program with warm greetings. 

Following her opening, Dr. Williams addressed distinct groups of guests, delivering a special message to each. Her remarks to the students emphasized her hope that the program would serve as a moment of inspiration. 

Dr. Williams also acknowledged the faculty and staff by stating, “May we be reminded of the reason we began this great work and may our passion for changing lives through education be reignited.” Concluding her remarks, Dr. Williams expressed gratitude to the honorees by saying, “Thank you for serving as an example of hope and inspiration in our community.”

Members of the Student Government Association continued the program by reciting “Still I Rise” by poet Maya Angelou. 
Attorney Assata Buffaloe, as the keynote speaker, delivered an inspiring address to the audience. Her message revolved around the path to becoming a living legend. She urged listeners to embrace their full potential and actively create positive change in their daily lives. She stated, “You can become a living legend just by making an impact in the area in which you live and work.” She reminded the audience, especially the students, that their current endeavors are a valuable part of their legacy as she stated, “All legends start with a root that’s been planted in their lives.”
Attorney Buffaloe concluded by listing notable Black figures and their accomplishments, after which she stated they were, “ordinary people who became good at being themselves.” She encouraged the audience, emphasizing that by embracing this principle, they too had the potential to become legendary.

The program’s highlight unfolded as the honorees were introduced by student leaders JaNiyah Tann, Aniyah Rankins, Jade Pugh, and Sophia Howard. Each honoree received a plaque and delivered a brief acceptance speech. 

Dr. Vaughan-Holland expressed her gratitude in stating, “It is indeed a pleasure to accept this award.” She also challenged the audience to actively engage in civic endeavors within the community. 

Commissioner Horton echoed Attorney Buffaloe’s sentiments about living legends, emphasizing, “Your legacy, your Black history, you are writing it now.”
Commissioner Lassiter encouraged the audience to remember those who are in pursuit of success. He stated, “The greatest legacy we can ever leave is each one, get one, and sow into one.”
 Concluding the presentations, Judge Rob Lewis reminded the audience, “The significance lies not merely in what someone accomplished, but in the spirit with which they did it.” 
Dr. Tanya Oliver, Vice President of Instruction and Student Services eloquently concluded the program with unwavering tenacity. She emphasized, “Let us continue to celebrate Black History Month, not only in February but every single day.”
For more information about Roanoke-Chowan Community College and upcoming campus events, please call 252.862.1200 or visit




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