FORT WORTH, Texas (May 17, 2016) Tarrant County College celebrated its 48th Commencement ceremonies May 16 in the Fort Worth Convention Center, closing out another academic year of accomplishments and college firsts. More than 2,000 students participated during Monday’s two ceremonies, the first time in school history two ceremonies were held on the same day.
In total this spring, 7,135 students were eligible to receive associate degrees and certificates. Of those, 35 students became the first graduates of TCC’s Weekend College. This group includes 10 students from the original cohort that began on 2014 when the Weekend College was launched by TCC Connect.
In addition, 92 students attending TCC’s Early College High Schools at TCC’s Northwest and Trinity River campuses received their associate degrees, putting them on the fast-track to earn their baccalaureates within two years at a four-year institution.
Prior to the conferring of degrees, commencement speaker Kozhi Sidney Makai, author and CEO of Kozhi Makai Worldwide, told the graduates life would be different from this point forward.
“The degrees and certificates you receive, they will mean nothing if you do not represent this school well,” he said. “Everywhere you go, people should be able to say ‘that person went to TCC and I can tell because they’re of the highest levels of integrity.’”
Makai also shared the importance of helping others, especially the less fortunate. “It’s wonderful to receive, but it’s even more blessed to give,” he said. “We can talk about all the education that all of us in the room have, but ultimately if we don’t use it to benefit other people, it’s a wasted education.”
Acting Chancellor Angela Robinson shared her own tales of perseverance, overcoming several setbacks throughout her academic career to become the first person in her family to earn a college degree. “At every obstacle, someone stepped in to help,” she said. “The lesson I learned and which you already have learned is simply this: do not quit five minutes before the miracle.”
Graduates receiving associate degrees and certificates of completion include those eligible for degree from summer and fall 2015 and spring 2016. The total number of students expected to complete requirements during this period was a three percent increase from the number expected last spring. Of the number of expected graduates this spring, 36 percent more are graduating because of TCC’s special outreach efforts to eligible graduates to ensure they know when they have met graduation requirements.