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Tennessee Tech celebrates fall commencement ceremonies


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Graduates at Tennessee Tech’s fall commencement ceremonies celebrate. The university awarded more than 1,200 degrees Saturday.

Published Saturday Dec 16, 2017

Tennessee Tech University awarded more than 1,200 degrees Saturday in two fall commencement ceremonies.

The graduating cohort included individuals from 75 counties in Tennessee, 38 states and 35 countries. Birth years of the students who earned degrees Saturday ranged from 1947 to 1998.

“You’ve demonstrated grit and understanding while earning an education that promises to transform your lives,” Tech President Phil Oldham told the graduates. “You are set to get a great return on investment.”

Oldham commended the group for their resilience through campus changes and thanked them for their contributions to the future of the university.

“We have faced a lot of change together to shape Tennessee Tech tomorrow,” Oldham said. “You have shown patience with the demolition and construction necessary to make the campus more functional and more beautiful. I encouraged thinking big, and you thought bigger by supporting a new Fitness Center that we broke ground on last Spring, and you have seen a glimpse of the future at the site where we broke ground in November for the new Lab Sciences Building.”

Christy Killman, chair of the university’s exercise science department and president of the faculty senate, spoke at the ceremony, reflecting on her own experience as a Tech student and encouraging the graduates to stay true to themselves, work hard and enjoy the journey.

“You have to be willing to take chances but think things through,” Killman told the graduates. “Don’t be careless, be fearless.  Don’t be intimidated, be confident.  Don’t just settle, work for and past your dreams.”

Ceremonies were held at 9:30 a.m. for graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Interdisciplinary Studies and College of Nursing, and at 2 p.m. for graduates from the College of Agriculture and Human Ecology, College of Business, College of Fine Arts and College of Education in the Hooper Eblen Center.

This cohort brings the total number of Tennessee Tech graduates to more than 87,400.

“A few years ago, you made the decision to get a college education. It was a very good decision and even if you didn’t start here you are here now, and that’s what counts,” Killman said. “The fact that you are sitting here today, graduates, speaks volumes about your determination, hard work and commitment to your future.  Be proud!”

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