“This is a special occasion,” TSTC Provost Marcus Balch told those gathered at the Waxahachie Convention Center. “Not only are we celebrating our graduates and their accomplishments, but this is the first graduating class to celebrate in a Commencement ceremony held right here at home.”
TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser was the keynote speaker at the ceremony. He urged the students to keep learning.
“You chose a technical field,” Reeser said. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but technology keeps moving on. It gets better and bigger, faster and stronger every day. You have to accept that this college event is not the end of your constant evolution, but the beginning. You’ve got to know that you have two choices: keep up with the constant changes or be obsolete.”
Diesel Equipment Technology graduate John O’Connell was selected for the Provost Award, a recognition given to a student who has demonstrated high academic performance, exceptional character and student leadership, and who has influenced their peers to strive for excellence.
“With everything I’ve been through, it was definitely a great honor,” O’Connell said. “I did not expect it or see it coming. I’m deeply honored that the school chose me.”
Among its summer graduates, nine Gerdau employees earned their associate degrees in Industrial Maintenance. The graduates attended classes while working full time.
Jeremy Crowder, an electrician with the company, graduated with a 4.0 GPA. He believes that the company investing in educating employees saves on-the-job training time.
“I think we’re getting guys in at a higher education level and with a better skill set when they start,” said Crowder. “Now, we don’t have to train for that skill set at the job.”
TSTC in North Texas graduates earned degrees in eight of the programs offered at the campus — Computer-Aided Drafting & Design Technology, Computer Networking & Systems Administration, Diesel Equipment Technology, Electrical Power & Controls, HVAC Technology, Industrial Maintenance, Logistics Technology and Welding.
Fall classes begin Monday, Aug. 27. For more information on TSTC, visit tstc.edu.