Crook to bear mace at RCC Commencement
At Rappahannock Community College’s 37th commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 8, at 6:30 p.m. on the front lawn of the Warsaw Campus, the honor of bearing the college mace in the procession has been awarded to Charles R. Crook, an instructor of chemistry and physics.
Depicted on the mace are the flame of learning, the scroll of knowledge, and the college gull; the person chosen to carry it each year does so as a symbol of service and leadership.
Like most of his students, Crook began his higher education at a community college, earning his associate of arts degree from San Bernardino Valley College in California. Although he went on to earn two higher degrees (bachelor of science from Virginia Tech and master of arts from the University of Northern Iowa), his heart remained with the community college system.
Following a successful career as a broadcast engineer at several commercial and public television stations, Crook took up teaching as a second career in the mid-1980s. He taught various science and electronics courses at both high school and college levels, serving as an adjunct faculty member first at Piedmont Virginia Community College and later at RCC. “I finally returned to my community college roots,” he says of the time in 2004 when he joined RCC’s full-time faculty.
Crook finds his greatest reward in hearing from former students who have gone on to complete more advanced degrees, to engage in successful careers, and to become citizens who take active roles in their communities. “To all of today’s graduates,” he says, “I send my hearty congratulations, my wishes for great success in the future, and my encouragement to remember where they started their educational journey.”
He adds, “Please keep in touch . . . and consider coming back to teach at RCC some day!”