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Tickets for VGCC Dinner Theater now on sale

Tickets are now on sale for Vance-Granville Community College’s production of “The Glass Menagerie,” its fifth annual Dinner Theater event. The classic American drama that first launched playwright Tennessee Williams to fame will be preceded by a delicious meal on the evenings of Thursday, April 27, and Friday, April 28, starting at 6 p.m., in the Civic Center on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County. The event once again involves the collaboration of the VGCC Drama and Culinary Arts departments.

Tickets are $30 per seat and may be purchased online at www.vgcc.edu/dinnertheater.

Audience members are able to choose the table and specific seats they want, at the same time that they buy their tickets online. Patrons are encouraged to purchase their tickets early in order to have the best chance of getting the seats they want for this year’s show.

First staged in Chicago in 1944, “The Glass Menagerie” is a “memory play” (narrated by one of the characters, recalling his experiences) and is based in part on Tennessee Williams’s own memories of his family. In 1945, the play premiered on Broadway, winning the prestigious New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for the best American play of the year. “The Glass Menagerie” has been adapted for television twice and as a Hollywood feature film twice. It has been revived for the Broadway stage numerous times, including a current production starring Sally Field. A drama of great tenderness, charm and beauty, “The Glass Menagerie” has become one of the most famous and acclaimed plays of the modern theatre.

The story focuses on Amanda Wingfield, a “faded Southern belle” who lives in poverty in a dingy St. Louis apartment with her son, Tom, and her daughter, Laura. The crux of the action comes when Tom invites a young man of his acquaintance to eat dinner with the family. Jim, the caller, is at once pounced upon by Amanda as a possible husband for Laura.

The cast is set to feature Brittney Patterson of Henderson as Amanda Wingfield; Ben Taylor of Franklinton as Tom Wingfield; Samantha Hines of Henderson as Laura Wingfield; and Jordan Bunting of Rocky Mount as Jim O’Conner.

Members of the crew include Chadstity Copeland of Henderson (Assistant to the Director/Stage Manager), Allison Hines of Henderson (Assistant Stage Manager/Props), Jamie McGinn of Wake Forest (Costumes/Assistant for Props), Camden Jones of Henderson (Lighting/Sound operator), Lauren Elliott of Oxford (Head of Props) and Mya Hargrove and Evan O’Geary, both of Henderson (Hair and Make-up).

All are current students at the college, except for Elliott, an alumna and VGCC staff member. Betsy Henderson, VGCC’s Department Chair/Instructor of Humanities and Fine Arts, is the director of the play.

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VGCC puts Associate in Arts degree on fast track

Vance-Granville Community College is introducing a new way for students to complete the first two years of a four-year degree on an accelerated timetable.

Starting with the fall semester that begins in August 2017, students will have the option to earn the 60-credit-hour Associate in Arts (College Transfer) degree in just three semesters: fall, spring and summer. Under the standard pathway currently in place, full-time students typically complete the Associate in Arts in five or six semesters (while taking courses in the summer on a part-time basis).

“The VGCC Division of Arts and Sciences is very excited to be able to offer a new accelerated pathway for the Associate in Arts,” said Cynthia Young, the college’s dean of arts and sciences. “This will allow dedicated students the ability to complete a two-year degree in just one year and quickly move on to a four-year university.”

The new pathway will be rigorous, with students taking a combination of 16-week and eight-week courses. For example, during the fall semester, students on the accelerated schedule will take two courses over the entire 16 weeks, four other courses during the first eight weeks and three others during the second eight weeks. A student would take a maximum of six courses at any one time. Only three courses would be required in the eight-week summer term.

Some required courses will be taken online, while others may be taken either online or in the traditional face-to-face format.

Students must first either complete or place out of any developmental coursework in order to complete the degree on this schedule.

The Associate in Arts (A.A.) is ideally suited for students who want to pursue bachelor’s degrees in communication, education, humanities, fine arts, languages, and social and behavioral sciences. Students in the program complete essentially the same required general education courses that they would take at most four-year universities and colleges. Graduates with an A.A. who make a grade of “C” or better in every course are assured of admission into one of the 16 universities in the University of North Carolina system, usually transferring in with junior ranking.

In the past few years, the comprehensive articulation agreements between all North Carolina community colleges, the UNC System and the private N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities have been revised with clearer pathways, simplifying the transfer of credits for both A.A. and Associate in Science (A.S.) graduates.

Registration for the fall semester at VGCC is currently ongoing, and ends on Aug. 10.

For more information on the accelerated pathway, contact Oluwunmi Ariyo at (252) 738-3270 or [email protected].

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VGCC to hold Enrollment Day on Saturday, April 8

Vance-Granville Community College will hold “Enrollment Day” on Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m. until noon, in Building 8 on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County.

During those hours, VGCC staff members will be ready to assist anyone who is interested in enrolling at the college for the summer term, which starts on May 30, or the fall semester, which starts in August. Prospective students are encouraged to pre-register at www.vgcc.edu/enrollment-day-registration. The deadline to pre-register is March 31. All who register in advance will receive a free VGCC T-shirt on Enrollment Day.

The April 8 event will include campus tours, an information session for future Vanguards, help with financial aid and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), along with assistance with choosing programs and registering for classes. Incoming students who have already completed applications for admission will also have the opportunity to take a placement test.

Breakfast items will be available, while supplies last.

VGCC’s Main Campus is located on Poplar Creek Road in Vance County (about midway between Henderson and Oxford) at the intersection with Interstate 85 (Exit 209).

Registration for classes at VGCC is ongoing. For more information, contact VGCC at [email protected] or (252) 738-3330, or visit any campus.

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VGCC, Library partner for discussion of Tennessee Williams and “The Glass Menagerie”

Vance-Granville Community College is partnering with the Granville County Library System to present a program on playwright Tennessee Williams and his classic drama, “The Glass Menagerie,” which the college is preparing to stage as a dinner theater event.

The educational program is scheduled for Wednesday, April 5, from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the Richard H. Thornton Library on Main Street in Oxford. The event is free and open to the public. Betsy Henderson, VGCC’s Department Chair/Instructor of Humanities and Fine Arts, will make a presentation and lead a discussion on Williams (1911–1983) and the play, including its poetic elements, in celebration of April as National Poetry Month.

Henderson will also talk about VGCC’s upcoming production of “The Glass Menagerie,” which she is directing. The college’s fifth annual Dinner Theater is scheduled for the evenings of Thursday, April 27, and Friday, April 28, in the Civic Center on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County.

First staged in 1944, “The Glass Menagerie” is based in part on Tennessee Williams’s own memories of his family. In 1945, the play premiered on Broadway, won the prestigious New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for the best American play of the year, and launched Williams to fame.

Henderson has an MFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi. She was VGCC’s 2005 Instructor of the Year. As an actress, Henderson has worked professionally with Raleigh Ensemble Players (REP), Deep Dish Theatre Company, Burning Coal Theatre Company, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Theatre of the American South, Hot Summer Nights @ the Kennedy, Temple Theatre, and Justice Theatre Project. Henderson has toured nationally with productions of “Miracle Worker,” portraying Annie Sullivan, and “Diary of Anne Frank,” portraying Mrs. Frank. Her performance in REP’s “Distracted” in 2011 was recognized by the Independent Weekly as one of the Best Lead Performances of the year. Henderson has served on local theatre boards of directors, and as a faculty member for Cary’s Applause Youth Theatre. She is currently vice-chair of the board of directors of Granville Little Theatre, as well as the chair of the GLT education committee. She has also been the Creative Director for the Broadway and Beyond/TeenWorks summer camps for 10 years.

For more information, contact Betsy Henderson at [email protected] or Granville County Adult Services Librarian Carly Cox at [email protected].

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VGCC adds fully-online Associate in Science degree

Adults interested in obtaining the first two years of a four-year degree completely online will have a new option this fall at Vance-Granville Community College.

The “Vanguard Online Learning through Technology” (VOLT) initiative at VGCC is entering its third year in operation and preparing to add the Associate in Science degree program to its offerings in August. VOLT courses are for adult learners who need an online-only educational experience.

VGCC already offers another College Transfer degree, the Associate in Arts, in VOLT, along with degrees in Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Medical Office Administration – Coding Specialist, and Global Logistics and Distribution Management Technology.

The Associate in Science (A.S.) program provides students with an excellent foundation for bachelor’s degrees in engineering, computer science, mathematics, and the natural sciences. Meanwhile, the Associate in Arts (A.A.) is ideal for students who want to pursue bachelor’s degrees in communication, education, humanities, fine arts, languages, and social and behavioral sciences.

Graduates of either degree who make a grade of “C” or better in every course are assured of admission into one of the 16 universities in the University of North Carolina system, usually transferring in with junior ranking.

In the past few years, the comprehensive articulation agreements between all North Carolina community colleges, the UNC System and the private N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities have been revised with clearer pathways, simplifying the transfer of credits for both A.A. and A.S. graduates.

Registration for the fall semester is currently ongoing, and ends on Aug. 10.

The planned program of study calls for VOLT Associate in Science students to take four college transfer courses during their first semester: one each in English and Math, plus Art Appreciation and Introduction to Computers. Students will complete the 61-credit-hour degree over six semesters under the plan, including two summer terms in which they will take one or two courses each.

Other courses in the degree come from disciplines such as Biology, Geology, Sociology, History, Humanities and Physics. These are the equivalents of the same required general education courses that students would take if they were freshmen or sophomores at most four-year universities.

“The VOLT Associate in Science program provides another opportunity to meet the educational needs of students who prefer to complete their entire degree online,” said Cynthia Young, VGCC’s dean of arts and sciences. “Our experienced, innovative Arts and Sciences instructors utilize a variety of instructional strategies to engage students. Graduates are well-prepared with an excellent educational foundation as they transfer to four-year institutions to earn bachelor’s degrees, because our programs are not only affordable and convenient but also high in quality.”

VOLT began with a small number of courses in 2015 and has grown steadily since then. Students are able to earn their associate’s degrees 100-percent online through VOLT. Advances in technology allow many of the courses to be more interactive than those offered in the past.

VOLT students enjoy several specific benefits, including priority registration and guaranteed course availability. They also have access to many online resources that are available to all VGCC students, such as library services, testing and the Bookstore. VOLT students also have an academic and career coach devoted to helping them, just as traditional on-campus students do.

Courses offered through VOLT have the same low tuition as all other VGCC courses, making them more affordable than their counterparts at for-profit institutions. In addition, Duke Energy, a longtime corporate supporter of VGCC, has provided funds for scholarships specifically for VOLT students.

Last year, Vance-Granville was recognized as the top two-year college in North Carolina for online programs by the national organization Accredited Schools Online (ASO).

For more information about VOLT, visit volt.vgcc.edu or call Evelyn Harris at (252) 738-3254 or Melanie Copeland at (252) 738-3271.

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VGCC offers online four-week summer classes

Students can earn college credits on an accelerated schedule at Vance-Granville Community College by taking four-week online classes this summer.

For the first time, VGCC has scheduled certain curriculum courses on back-to-back four-week schedules during the summer term. The first four-week mini-term will begin May 30 and end on June 26. Then, the second mini-term starts June 27 and ends on July 31.

Five courses are scheduled for the first mini-term: Personal Health/Wellness (HEA 110), Critical Thinking (HUM 115), Music Appreciation (MUS 110), American Government (POL 120) and Keyboarding (OST 131). All five are offered completely online. During the second mini-term, the same courses will be offered, except for Keyboarding.

Registration for these classes is currently underway, and will close on May 25 for the first session and June 23 for the second.

“This summer, students can accelerate their education in a fast-paced period of study,” said Jeffrey Allen, VGCC’s dean of enrollment and outreach. “We had a great response when we offered four-week classes for the first time in late December and early January, so we are excited about continuing to use this format to meet the needs of our diverse learning community.” He added, “These courses can give many students the opportunity to quickly make progress toward a degree.”

Not only current VGCC students, but also new students, including students at four-year universities, are welcome to enroll. Current VGCC students are encouraged to talk with their advisors to see if the four-week courses are right for them.

All the courses on the schedule except for Keyboarding transfer to most North Carolina colleges and universities. Students are encouraged to check with their four-year school of choice on transferability before registering for particular courses. New students will need to complete a VGCC application for admission first.

Financial aid is available for qualified students. For more information, contact the VGCC Financial Aid Office at [email protected] or (252) 738-3280.

For registration information, visit the Student Learning & Success Center on any VGCC campus or call (252) 738-3330.

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VGCC adding new Associate in Fine Arts degree

Vance-Granville Community College is preparing to offer an Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) degree in Visual Arts, with classes starting in August. Prospective students can begin the process of enrollment now.

The degree will be a third college transfer option available at the college, joining the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees already being offered. Earning this two-year AFA degree can serve as a springboard to completing a four-year bachelor’s in fine arts (BFA) degree in visual art at a university. Students will be encouraged to contact four-year universities in which they are interested, to find out about any specific transfer requirements.

In addition to their general education classes, AFA students will take classes in art history, two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, and drawing.

VGCC has offered visual arts classes of different kinds throughout its history. In 2015, VGCC began holding “Fine Arts Day” events, which incorporated not only visual art but also music, dance and dramatic arts.

Isaac Talley, an award-winning visual artist, is a full-time art instructor at VGCC, teaching courses such as Art Appreciation, Two-Dimensional Design, and Drawing. “The AFA will be an excellent way to complete your first two years of college with tuition that’s very affordable, and then proceed on to East Carolina University, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro or elsewhere,” Talley said. “It’s a great opportunity, especially for people who are interested in painting, as well as digital photography, which we are planning to add in 2018.”

He added that while at VGCC, students will be able to hone their skills and build a portfolio that can help them gain admission to the university of their choice. They also may simply want more training in art without necessarily continuing to the four-year level. Jessie Hartley of Oxford, a current VGCC College Transfer student who won first place at the college’s juried student art exhibition, said that “the AFA program is appealing to me because it opens up more learning opportunities for me involving art. With the Associate in Arts program, I have learned everything from some early art history to painting and drawing. With the AFA program, my knowledge of art can expand even further with the use of different media and techniques that I possibly haven’t even heard of. It will also help my credibility for future job possibilities involving art.”

Hartley said that she has enjoyed all of the art classes she has taken at VGCC thus far. “In painting and drawing, I enjoyed the freedom and self-control it gave me,” she recalled. “I learned that I could express myself in all manners of ways on a canvas that could speak to the viewer of that piece, perhaps even touch their soul.  In art history and art appreciation, I enjoyed going through the past, learning facts and valuable information and where it all began. All in all, I am really looking forward to the AFA program, and I feel that all art students, including myself, will benefit wonderfully from it.”

After she graduates from VGCC, Hartley’s plan is to develop her own studio as a freelance artist. “I would like to travel to different art festivals and sell my work, as well as learn different crafts and techniques with a diverse range of media,” she said. “I may pursue further education later on, which the AFA degree will help with to enhance my credibility and experience.”

For more information about the AFA program, contact Betsy Henderson at [email protected] or (252) 738-3371.

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VGCC basketball season ends in second round of conference tourney

The Vance-Granville Community College Vanguards men’s basketball team recently closed out the season at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Region X tournament, the first two rounds of which were held at Richard Bland College in Petersburg, Va.

On March 4, VGCC, the tenth seed in the tournament, defeated the seventh-seeded Titans of Guilford Technical Community College in the opening round, 90-87, recording the program’s first postseason win since 2015. The victory came just one week after the Vanguards lost to the Titans, 108-102, to wrap up the regular season.

This time, VGCC came out strong from the start, leading by as many as eight points in the first five minutes of play. GTCC came back in the middle of the first half but the Vanguards responded and built up a 44-39 lead at halftime. VGCC led for practically the entire second half, beating back a late rally by the Titans to secure the narrow win, in part on the strength of shooting 100% (14 for 14) from the free-throw line. According to the staff at tournament host Richard Bland College, the Vanguards were the only team to make 100% of their free throws all season in that arena, and may be the only team to be perfect from the line in a Region X tournament game.

“The NJCAA Region X Conference tournament was an amazing experience for both the players and myself,” said VGCC head coach DeMarcus Oliver. “The atmosphere was electric! For the first time, players had the opportunity to play in front of NCAA Division I and II college coaches sitting court-side to recruit. This is the place where everything mattered, from the pre-game warm-up to the post-game hand shake.” The coach said that the tournament, his first since taking the reins of the program, will always be “an unforgettable moment” in his life. “Being defeated by Guilford Tech twice in the regular season, and then coming out victorious when it mattered most, brought tears to my eyes as I left the court,” Oliver added.

The Vanguards were led in scoring by sophomore TyQuon Reid of Goldsboro, who posted 26 points to go along with four steals. Freshman NiQuan Cousins of Raleigh was also key, contributing 24 points as well as a team-high 14 rebounds. Freshman Kenneth Finley, Jr., of Raleigh led in assists (6), while also scoring 11 points. Sophomore Chris Pernell of Raleigh put up 14 points.

With the win, VGCC advanced to the second (quarter-final) round on March 5, but lost to the number-two seed, Richard Bland College, on March 5. The Statesmen were ranked as the eighth-best team in the nation in the most recent NJCAA Division II poll.

Cousins scored a game-high 25 points for VGCC and also led in rebounding (8). Reid put up 14 points and 3 assists in his final game as a Vanguard. His fellow sophomores were Pernell, who had 6 points, 2 rebounds, one assist and one steal; Antonio Adams of Oxford, who had 4 rebounds and a steal; and Michael Henderson of Henderson, with 3 rebounds.

The 2016-17 season saw the emergence of two Vanguards as national leaders. Cousins was the top rebounder in the nation this year for Division II, recording 432 total rebounds and 14.9 rebounds per game while also ranking first in both offensive rebounds per game and defensive rebounds per game. He is VGCC’s all-time leader in rebounds during a single season and in a single game (28). Reid, meanwhile, ended the season ranked third in the nation for free-throw shooting (195-256) and fifth in steals (95). Reid was also VGCC’s team leader in points per game (23.3), assists per game (6.1) and steals per game (3.3) for the season.

Before the opening of the conference tournament, Reid was named to the All-Region X Second Team, becoming just the third Vanguard to receive that honor in program history. He is also the first player in VGCC history to score 1,000 points.

Coach Oliver said that among the many highlights of the season, the Vanguards defeated the UNC Tar Heels JV team for the first time, and at one point had three players ranked on the NJCAA national leader boards at the same time: Cousins, Reid and Finley. He added that Pernell became the first player in Vanguards history to make more than 100 career three-pointers, with nine of those coming in a single game.

“I can assure our VGCC fans that we will be back in the 2017-2018 season, playing some exciting basketball,” Coach Oliver said. “I am committed to building a much stronger, better, and more equipped men’s basketball program that will aid us in continuing to pursue making history! Thanks to sophomore players such as TyQuon Reid (Team Captain), Chris Pernell (Team Co-Captain), Antonio Adams, and Michael Henderson, for being four solid pillars that I have used to start construction on the rebuilding of VGCC men’s basketball.”

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Computer-aided drafting course offered at VGCC

Vance-Granville Community College has scheduled a “CAD with Solid Edge” course, to be held Monday through Thursday, April 3 through May 25, on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. Students will choose to take the course on one of two different schedules: 9 a.m. until noon, or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Solid Edge is a Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) software program, produced by Siemens, which is used in a variety of industries, including advanced manufacturing.

This course introduces students to the three-dimensional solid modeling and design software. Topics include design sketching, basic three-dimensional design considerations and techniques, model creation, model editing, model rendering, analysis of solid models and creation of multi-view drawings. Upon completion, students should be able to use design techniques to sketch, model, edit, and render 3D models and generate multi-view 2D drawings. Students will learn how to create and print 2D drawings from 3D solid models and send solid models to a 3D printer.

The instructor for the course is Peter M. Robinson.

Students may become certified through Siemens upon passing the credentialing exam.

The cost of this course is $187 plus the cost of textbooks and the exam.

Registration can be completed online at www.vgcc.edu/oex or in person at any VGCC campus. The deadline to register is March 28. For more information, contact VGCC at [email protected] or (252) 738-3324.

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New members join VGCC endowment board

The Vance-Granville Community College Endowment Fund Board of Directors recently welcomed four new members. They include Tanya Evans of Timberlake, Ronnie Goswick of Franklinton, Katharine Macon Horner of Durham and Marshall Tanner of Oxford.

“We are delighted to welcome these leaders to our Endowment board, and we appreciate their commitment to supporting our students and our mission,” said Dr. Stelfanie Williams, president of VGCC.

The board of directors oversees the Endowment Fund Corporation, a nonprofit organization established in 1976 to seek and receive scholarship funds and other contributions for the college.

Evans is a district manager in Duke Energy’s government and community relations department. She is responsible for external relations, issue management, community involvement and corporate contributions for the company’s northeast region, which covers Caswell, Person, Granville, Vance, Warren, Franklin, Edgecombe, Nash, Wilson and Halifax counties. Duke Energy has established numerous scholarships for VGCC students and awarded several grants to the college over the years. Evans has a degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Goswick is the director of business and economic development at Carolina Sunrock, based in Raleigh. The company is a longtime supporter of the college and has endowed a VGCC scholarship in its name. Goswick served for 25 years in local government with Franklin County and the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments as an economic development director. He is also a former Franklin County commissioner and member of the Town of Franklinton Board of Commissioners. Goswick is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in business.

Horner is a Henderson native who graduated from Atlantic Christian College (today known as Barton College) with a degree in health and physical education and from Wilson County Technical Institute (today known as Wilson Community College) with an associate degree in nursing. She retired after a lengthy, varied career in health care, having spent many years working as a nurse at Duke Medical Center. Horner has endowed two scholarships at VGCC in memory of her parents and grandparents.

Tanner spent his career in the manufacturing sector, retiring in 2010 as a vice president of Bridgestone Bandag, another company that has supported the VGCC Endowment Fund for many years and endowed a scholarship in its name. He managed plants for that company in Iowa and Georgia before finally moving to its Oxford location. Tanner earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial management at Georgia Tech. Active in his community, he received the John Penn Citizen of the Year Award in 2003 from the Granville County Chamber of Commerce.

The four new additions join current Endowment Fund board members Robert L. Hubbard (the vice-chair), Julius Banzet III, Sarah Baskerville, Rep. James W. Crawford, Jr., Dr. Ben F. Currin, Clay Frazier, L. Opie Frazier, Jr., Rev. Dr. Richard M. Henderson, Darryl Moss, T.S. Royster, Jr., Donald C. Seifert, Sr., Josh Towne and Todd Wemyss. As president of VGCC, Dr. Stelfanie Williams chairs the board.

Through the Endowment Fund, VGCC has awarded more than 8,800 scholarships to students since 1982. Scholarships have been endowed by numerous individuals, industries, businesses, civic groups, churches and the college’s faculty and staff. Tax-deductible donations to the VGCC Endowment Fund have often been used to honor or remember a person, group, business or industry with a lasting gift to education. For more information about the Endowment Fund, call (252) 738-3409.

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