TCC celebrates commencement May 14

Once more, due to circumstances, pomp will be at a minimum Saturday, May 14, at Tarrant County College’s 53rd Annual Commencement Ceremony.

Last year, to avoid having a large crowd in an indoor venue, TCC had a “rolling” ceremony that dispensed with the usual speeches. Instead, candidates for graduation were assigned arrival times at the Dickies Arena. There, they joined an extended, but constantly moving, procession that took them across the stage for a photo and then back outside the building. A limited number of relatives and/or friends entered at the same arrival time, stayed seated long enough to applaud their graduate, and went outside to join and congratulate him or her.

In addition to remaining relevant, the format proved so popular with the graduates, according to Associate Vice Chancellor David Ximenez, that TCC decided to retain it for at least one more year. The only major change is that faculty attending in academic regalia will have seating on the Convention Center floor.

The ceremony will honor the 7,195 students who have graduated after the 2021 summer and fall terms or who are candidates for graduation for the spring 2022 semester. RSVPs have come in from 2,696 students that they plan to attend. This includes about 400 from TCC’s early college high schools that afford students the opportunity to earn both high school diplomas and TCC degrees and be eligible to transfer to universities as juniors.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Tia Cole of the TCC South English department and the incoming president of the Joint Consultation Committee, TCC’s Districtwide faculty organization, will lead the procession holding the ceremonial mace, followed by four bearers of banners known as gonfalons. Then will come TCC Acting Chancellor Elva LeBlanc, Board of Trustees President Teresa Ayala and the first wave of students.

LeBlanc and her senior leadership team will team with other trustees in 30-minuteshifts on the stage to pose with individual graduates for a photograph.

Each graduate may bring up to six guests, who will be admitted as the same time as their graduates. After graduates leave the stage and approach the exit, they may stop off at a designated space for where guests can take photographs. The ceremony will conclude at about 3 p.m.