Photo Caption: Columbia State Community College’s December graduates celebrate earning their degrees as they get ready to move forward into new careers.
(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Dec. 15, 2012) - - - The rains did not dampen the excitement as 366 new graduates earned diplomas during Columbia State Community College’s forty-seventh commencement exercises that took place Saturday, Dec. 15 at the W.J. “Billy” Webster Athletic Center. The class of fall 2012 emerged from the ceremonies amid congratulatory cheers from more than 1,000 family and friends.
Representing 62 Tennessee cities and the states of Idaho, New York and North Carolina, the new graduates are headed to diverse next steps. Janet F. Smith, Ph.D., president of Columbia State noted that 64 percent of this class has plans to continue their educations at the university level. Their university plans include study at universities such as Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee Tech University, Trevecca Nazarene University, Athens State University, West Florida State University, University of Minnesota and University of North Alabama with approximately 60 percent planning to be at MTSU.
Smith said that the remaining body of students are workforce ready and will enter the job market in the coming days. “Many of these graduates are entering jobs directly related to their degrees, such as those entering nursing, EMTs, the automotive industry, banking and business. Others will join K-6 teaching faculties in the area school systems.”
“The faculty of Columbia State is extremely proud of our graduates. Commencement day is the most exciting day of our year and it will always be the reason we all come to work every day,” Smith said.
The commencement address was given by Ken Moore, an orthopedic surgeon and the current mayor of Franklin. Moore charged the graduates to be persistent, adaptable to change and a lifelong learner. Moore applauded the graduates for overcoming many obstacles they may have faced as they pursued their college courses. He warned them that they will continue to find obstacles throughout their lives.
“Persistence and determination are alone omnipotent,” Moore said as he quoted President Calvin Coolidge. “The world of your grandparents has changed. The world of your parents has changed and so will your world change if not today but in your future.”
Moore reminded the graduates that they must be prepared to change with an ever moving world and that being able to look at changing environments by being adaptable and a willing learner are important success tools.
Finally, Moore urged the graduates to be committed to lifelong learning and to be ready to stay on top of and ahead of new information and to recognize that they may someday find themselves returning to the classroom as a learner.
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.