Aug 26, 2016

Columbia State Hosts Welcome Week Celebration For Students

Sargeant, Haslam, Smith and Gregory
Photo Caption: Representative Charles Sargent, Governor Bill Haslam, Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president and Representative Glen Casada pose with "future so bright" sign.

Columbia State Community College kicked off the fall semester by hosting a "Week of Welcome" celebration for new and returning students. Students at all campuses were invited to participate in a variety of activities during the week-long event.

"Events like this where students can enjoy food, games and conversation help build a welcoming atmosphere to the college," said Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president. "Students that are involved and engaged in activities on campus have greater chances for success."

Daily events featured refreshments, games, prizes and the opportunity for students to interact with faculty and staff, as well as special guests.

In addition, each of Columbia State's five campuses hosted a "My Future's So Bright" welcome event to celebrate Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect students. Each event featured free sunglasses and a banner so students could write down their visions for the future. Students were encouraged to take selfies at photo booth stations.

Williamson Campus

During the "Week of Welcome," Columbia State held a celebration at the Williamson Campus to welcome new and returning Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect students.

Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect students were invited to participate in several activities under the theme "My Future's So Bright."

"Our Welcome Week is combined with a state-wide community college event that looks forward to say "our future is so bright," said Smith. "When we look at the Tennessee Promise, the growth that's going on in community colleges and the number of people going back to college, we can see an increase in the education level of our state."

A number of special guests joined the students to celebrate their arrival on campus and encouraged them to reach their full potential including Governor Bill Haslam, Senator Jack Johnson, Representative Charles Sargent and Representative Glen Casada.

"Fifty-five percent of the new jobs that will exist in the next seven years will require a degree or certificate," said Haslam. "We need you to complete your degrees so we can tell businesses moving to Tennessee that we have the skills and training that they need."

The Tennessee Promise is a state program that offers two years of free tuition at one of the state's 13 community colleges or 27 colleges of applied technology for any student graduating from a Tennessee high school. In 2015, more than 16,000 students enrolled in the first Tennessee Promise class, which contributed to a 10.1 percent increase in overall first-time freshman enrollment in Tennessee public higher education in the fall of 2015.

The Tennessee Reconnect program is a newer program for eligible older Tennesseans to return to college.

Click here to view photos from the Williamson Campus Welcome Week event:

Williamson Campus Students
Photo Caption: Williamson Campus students talk with David Gregory, Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor.

Columbia Campus

Columbia State also welcomed new and returning Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect students to the Columbia Campus during the "My Future's So Bright" event.

"Getting involved is important," said Smith. "We are sponsoring activities like this at all of our campuses this week so students have a sense of belonging to start off their semester."

A number of special guests joined the students at the Columbia Campus including Senator Joey Hensley and Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor David Gregory.

"These are events that are happening at Columbia State, and really across the state, to welcome back our students and to talk to them so they can see that they too can be successful," Gregory said.

"We are trying to encourage students to come to college, stay in college and we try to make it to where they have more avenues for help," Hensley said.

Click here to view photos from the Columbia Campus Welcome Week event:

Students enjoys Padrino's Pops
to Caption: Columbia Campus students enjoy Padrino's Pops

Lyric Signs Banner

Photo Caption: Lyric McGloffin (Mt. Pleasant), 2015-2016 SGA president signs "my future is so bright" banner.

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, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at

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