Tennessee Speaker of the House Harwell to be Commencement Speaker
(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Nov. 30, 2011) - - - Columbia State Community College
is holding its first-ever December graduation ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. in the W. J. “Billy” Webster Athletic Center located on the Columbia campus. There are more than 240 students graduating, with nearly 120 students participating in the ceremony, including students who finished their studies this past August.
Janet Smith, Ph.D., Columbia State’s president, announced to students last month that the faculty and staff of Columbia State had reviewed the college’s graduation tradition and decided to implement changes that would benefit students and their families. She said that changes would include moving the event from Tuesday to Saturday, in addition to hosting two graduation ceremonies during the year.
“Graduation is an important part of your completion of studies at Columbia State,” Smith told students. “It is our intent to hold a ceremony that celebrates your accomplishments and is held at a time where perhaps your family and friends can attend and participate in the celebration.”
Following the graduation notice, Dr. Smith announced that State Representative Beth Harwell, who currently serves as Speaker of the House, will deliver the December commencement address.
“It is my pleasure to announce that Beth Harwell, Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives, has accepted our invitation to be Columbia State’s first December commencement speaker,” said Smith. “I am honored that she said yes and look forward to her address.”
Harwell was first elected in 1988 and is currently serving her twelfth term in the Tennessee House of Representatives from State House District 56, which includes part of Davidson County. She is a former faculty member at distinguished colleges and universities in Tennessee and has long been an advocate of education and innovative education policy. Harwell received her Bachelor of Arts degree from David Lipscomb University, an M.S. degree from George Peabody College and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt.
Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.
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