Vol State Ceremony participants

Representing Vol State left to right: Nicholas Bishop, vice president for Economic and Community Development; Dennis Powers, alumnus of the year, class of 1973; Beth Carpenter, vice president for Business and Finance; Jerry Faulkner, president; George Pimentel, vice president for Academic Affairs; Emily Short, vice president for Student Services; David Fuqua, speaker, Faculty Council; and Colette Catania, vice president for Institutional Effectiveness, Research, Planning, and Assessment. SUBMITTED

Hundreds of Volunteer State Community College students celebrated Spring 2020 graduation on Saturday in a unique event. The graduates included 45 students from Vol State at Springfield.

The ceremony was held online, the first virtual commencement in the history of the college. The event was changed from the traditional ceremony due to COVID-19 health concerns. Speakers congratulated the students and many of the graduates took the opportunity to add pictures and short videos, giving the ceremony a personal touch.

Student Division Award winners were also announced during the ceremony: Humanities – Justin Frech of Cross Plains; Business and Technology – Joshua Burgess of Gallatin; Math and Science – Richard Wiencek of Hendersonville; Social Science and Education – Alexandria Carman, of Portland; and Health Sciences – Addy Stover of Monroe.

Three hundred students participated in the online celebration. Graduates included thirty-three Middle College students who achieved their associate’s degree while also finishing their high school career. They will receive a high school diploma later this summer. The graduates have a wide variety of backgrounds, aged 17 to 66 years old.

Twenty graduates are Veterans and there are 199 adult graduates who attended with the tuition-free TN Reconnect program. There are 314 eligible graduates who used the tuition-free TN Promise program for graduating high school seniors. The graduates came from 25 different birth countries.

The Spring 2020 virtual graduation ceremony is available for public viewing at www.volstate.edu/graduation.

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