FORT WORTH, Texas (May 15, 2015) A record-overflow crowd of graduates of Tarrant County College, their families and friends learned more about the resources TCC provides them and the community from the people who ensure that TCC continues to meet its mission.
Each member of the Board of Trustees shared his or her reflections about what has made TCC special since its inception 50 years ago by Tarrant County voters, with more than 1,610 attendees within the arena, and hundreds more viewing on large-screen monitors.
Board President Louise Appleman lauded TCC’s talented faculty saying the College has always “hired motivated and student-centered faculty who go above and beyond” so students are equipped with the “tools needed to be successful in class, at work and in life.”
Board Vice President Kristin Vandergriff described the support students receive in their quest to achieve academic excellence. She said resources including Supplemental Instruction and nearly 200 student clubs and organizations provide “the skills and experience necessary” for our students “to become successful future leaders – locally, nationally and globally.”
Board Secretary O.K. Carter applauded TCC’s investment “in our community’s future as part of the global village” describing the College’s major investment in Early College High School and flexible learning opportunities provided by TCC Connect that manages online learning, Dual Credit and Weekend College.
Board Member Bill Greenhill acclaimed the advances TCC is making nationally as one of only 70 Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges in the nation, which “is a prestigious testament to TCC’s commitment to student success and willingness to make changes.”
Board Assistant Secretary Conrad Heede extolled the benefits those attending graduation are unaware they receive from TCC graduates from specialized programs including TCC’s Public Safety and Fire Academies, Aviation Mechanics and Culinary Arts. As an example, he said, “If you are involved in an auto accident in Tarrant County, the paramedics who are sent to your rescue were probably trained at TCC.”
Board Member Gwen Morrison exalted her passion about “the work the College does to create a college-going culture for our young people,” often starting as young as first grade in an effort to reach TCC’s ultimate goal to “help develop our youth for the workforce.”
And, Chancellor Hadley, speaking on behalf of Board Member Robyn Winnett, mentioned the College’s impact of stimulating the County’s economy stating that “for every dollar students invest in TCC, they receive a cumulative $6.50 in higher future income over the course of their working careers.”
TCC’s downtown Trinity River Campus hosted the commencement, providing retiring Trinity River Campus President Tahita Fulkerson a final opportunity to preside over the commencement service before her retirement this summer.
“I have always loved graduation. It’s the goal that everyone at TCC has for students. I will cheer for the many students who walk across the stage,” Fulkerson said. “I will be happy that this is a good way to finish a career that started in the ‘70s when I was a part-time teacher.”
TCC graduates receiving associate degrees and certificates of completion include those eligible for degrees from summer and fall 2014 and spring 2015. A total of 6,940 students are expected to complete requirements during this period, up 16 percent from the number expected last spring. Among the graduates are the first six graduates to receive their degree from the Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences (TABS). The TABS graduates join another 32 Early High School Graduates from Marine Creek High School, which last year graduated the first-ever Early College High School students to earn associate degrees in Tarrant County.