TCC graduates from all walks of life and experiences joined together to receive degrees and certificates Friday night that equip them to launch careers in everything from automotive to radiology and from business to sign language interpretation.
They came wearing and/or carrying their regalia. It was the same, but different as some personalized their attire. They brought family, friends and clients. They cheered with excitement.
Those present had an opportunity to test their knowledge about TCC as they gathered by answering trivia questions scrolling across the screens — When was TCC started? How many campuses are there? What is the average age of students? How many scholarships has the TCC Foundation given? What is the difference in salary for a high school grad and an associate degree holder?
District staff helped graduates with everything from checking in to guiding them to their proper section, row and seat prior to the ceremony and later leading them to their places on the arena floor.
Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley let the crowd know that TCC “is the people’s college” and invited them to take full advantage of the “many opportunities that have been designed just for you.”
Graduates were challenged by commencement speaker Napoleon Brandford III to build up a rainy day fund while living within their means. Brandford should know as he has co-founded two companies and is now chairman of Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., LLC, the only minority/woman-owned investment banking underwriting firm.
“If I had not kept my living expense low and set aside money in a savings account, there is no way I would have been in a position to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (to start his own company),” said Brandford. He said had he kept his higher- paying job he would have lost everything since the company he worked for eventually became Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy.
Congratulations to all TCC grads! Take a look at our Commencement Photo Gallery where we will add more scenes from graduation each day this week.