Local residents participate in Tyler Junior College Fall 2017 semester commencement exercises

Tyler Junior College recently held commencement ceremonies recognizing 682 candidates for graduation for the Fall 2017 semester Friday, Dec. 8, inside the Wagstaff Gymnasium.

The graduation ceremonies were divided into two sessions, with the morning ceremony recognizing graduates in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and the School of Professional and Technical Programs, while the afternoon ceremony recognized graduates in the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Sciences and the School of Humanities, Communications and Fine Arts.

TJC President Dr. Mike Metke was on hand at the commencement ceremonies to confer the degrees and certificates of proficiency and certify the graduates.

Candidates for graduation residing in Bullard included Jaime Bridges, Colby Green, Karrigan Green, Kathaline Jacks, Billy Jones, Suzanne Kelley, Kayla McPherson, Katy Pavelka, Will Roach, Krystal Smart, Jamie Vinson, Cregory Wheeler Jr., and Karen Woolverton.

TJC graduates residing in Flint included April Beasley, Shannon Bedsole, Cynthia Bewley, Emily Bromaghin, David Byrd, Jermaine Descartes, Tony Gibbs, Jenny Gunther, Brenda Johnson, Jaymelee Leon, Taylor Lucas, Jody Nichols, Robbie Noyes, Michael Powell, Lorena Rebagliati, Christopher Reigstad, Monica Reyes, Justin Rives, Amye Scarborough, John Skelton, Russell Waterman, Trevarius Watson, Michael Williamson

For the first time in its history, Tyler Junior College awarded Bachelor degrees during fall commencement ceremonies, presenting Amanda Camp, of Lufkin, Shannon Kassaw, of Palestine, and Michelle Trammell, of Tyler with TJC’s inaugural Bachelor of Science degrees in dental hygiene.

“This group of graduates has more top students than ever before at TJC,” said Metke. “We’ve never had more honors students and academic scholars than we have now. We’ve never had more students who graduated in the top 10 percent of their class. This is truly a golden era for TJC.”

TJC is the first and only community or junior college in Texas authorized to offer a Bachelor of Science degree.

In early 2015, TJC leaders put a plan in motion to pursue legislative approval for the degree. Legislative action was granted in late 2015, after then-State Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, State Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches, and Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, sponsored companion bills in the Texas Legislature to create the program. Additionally, numerous resolutions from throughout East Texas supported this visionary direction.

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