PHONE: 627-4521

DATE: 5-10-2000



When April Shelton walked off the stage at Haywood Community College’s graduation ceremony, she gave the man sitting on the front row of graduates a "thumbs up" and a great big smile. The man was her father, Ed Shelton, who just a few minutes before had walked across the same stage to receive his second diploma from HCC. Father and daughter both wore a cap and gown that night. Mr. Shelton graduated summa cum laude with a diploma in Autobody Repair and Ms. Shelton received an Associate in Arts in the college transfer program.

According to Ms. Shelton, even though the pair had just spent a year-and-half at the same campus, she and her father very seldom ran into each other. But Mr. Shelton was quick to remind her of one time, "April left her lights on by mistake and her car battery went dead," he said. " She knew exactly where to find me then."

HCC has indeed been a "family affair" for the Sheltons— Mr. Shelton said that one semester, his older daughter, Tracy, and his sister, Sue, were also attending HCC at the same time he and April were enrolled.

Ms. Shelton graduated from Tuscola in 1998 and went to UNC Greensboro for one semester. She then returned to HCC to finish her general education where she could be close to her family and friends. Ms. Shelton plans to pursue a career as a massage therapist.

A former Dayco employee, who was eleven weeks short of retirement at the time of the plant’s closing, Mr. Shelton returned to college under Dayco’s job retraining incentive for displaced workers. He knew that he would get top-notch training because he had already received diplomas in Automotive Mechanics and Welding in 1975 and 1976 while attending HCC on the GI bill.

Mr. Shelton, a Vietnam Veteran, retired from the U.S. Army Reserve with 26 years of service. He presently owns a landscaping business and works as a correctional officer for the Haywood Unit of the N.C. Department of Corrections.

Mr. Shelton says that he may take more courses at the college because of his past enriching experiences at HCC. The college offers over thirty-four programs of study. More information is available from student services at (828) 627-4500.

Photo attached:

Cutline: Dr. Nathan Hodges (left) was one of the first to congratulate Haywood Community College’s father and daughter "Class of 2000" graduates, April and Ed Shelton.