Week Long Graduation Celebration...

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2015 Graduates of Tri-County Community College

Soon-to-be-graduates Elisheba K. Morris, David Lawrence Stewart, Deborah Kaye Shira, and Peter Allan Schwarer (from left) enjoy a good laugh together during the 2015 Tri-County Community College Commencement Exercises held May 8 in the Enloe Multi-Purpose Room.

Friday, May 8, was the main event in a week-long celebration of student achievements at Tri-County Community College (TCCC).

Tuesday, May 5, saw the awarding of certificates to the Medical Assistant students. On Wednesday, May 6, the Region A Nursing Consortium’s traditional Nursing Pinning Ceremony took place, and the High School Equivalency Graduation was held on Saturday morning, May 9.

The Enloe Building’s Multi-Purpose Room at TCCC was standing-room only on Friday night as 111 students, their families, and their friends joined faculty and staff for the 2015 TCCC Commencement Exercises. In total, 220 degrees, diplomas and certificates were awarded to the graduates of the Class of 2015.

Dr. Donna Tipton Rogers, president of TCCC, began the evening by asking the students who were graduating to stand, turn, and face the audience. “ I want you to see the kind of support you have tonight, and the kind of support you’ve had for your entire time with us,” said Tipton-Rogers.

“Tonight is a celebration,” continued Dr. Tipton-Rogers. “You should not be quiet. You should not be stiff. You should be excited. I want this night to be fun.”

To help with that goal, Dr. Tipton-Rogers had various groups stand when called. First she asked the students to rise again. Then she asked anyone who had graduated from TCCC to stand, followed by anyone who had ever taken classes, anyone who was ever a dual-enrollment student, anyone who was married to a student, and finally, anyone who was either a friend of a student or ever knew anyone who was.

At that point, smiling broadly, she told the audience, “If you’re not standing now, you’re in the wrong place.”

The entire assembly laughed and cheered. She then went on to speak of the role TCCC plays in the community.

“We have been an integral part of this area for more than 50 years,” said Tipton-Rogers. “Every day we try to give our students the very best we have to offer so that they, in turn, can help enrich the communities in which we all live. Tri-County Community College is a place where goals can become a reality, where dreams can come true.”

Several annual faculty and staff awards were given, all nominated by faculty, staff and students. Lindi Gentry-Lechelt received the Excellence in Teaching Award. Bridgett Curtis was given the Adjunct (part-time) faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, and Diane Owl was honored with the Excellence in Staff Award.

In the most anticipated event of the evening, students crossed the stage to receive a scroll with a personal message from Dr. Tipton-Rogers – and a quick hug – then have their photo taken. As they left the stage each graduate also received a gift that symbolized the growth through education each student had experienced at TCCC, and that represented the knowledge and talents they will sow throughout our communities for the rest of their lives.