Columbia State holds spring 2019 commencement

Monday, May 13, 2019

Columbia State Community College celebrated 344 degree and certificate candidates as they crossed the stage in front of family and friends during the commencement ceremonies in the Webster Athletic Center Saturday, May 4.

Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president, opened the ceremonies by welcoming graduates, faculty, staff, family, friends and guests, thanking them for celebrating the accomplishments of the students.

“Today is a day of celebration of accomplishments,” Smith said. “It is a day of recognition and transition. These candidates set a goal and accomplished it, a lofty and sometimes hard fought one, but a goal accomplished.”

Will Meacham, Marshall County native, presented the 2 p.m. commencement address for students earning Associate of Arts, Associates of Fine Arts, Associate of Science in Teaching and Associate of Science degrees.

Meacham encouraged his peers to empower themselves and take the experiences they have gained at Columbia State with them as they transition into the next chapter of their lives.

“Know you are capable to do anything you set your heart on,” Meacham said. “You can be more than you expect. You need to empower yourself to do it. Saying ‘I am capable’ can be the push that sets everything into motion to create the change you want to see in yourself.”

Before conferring degrees, Smith recognized the 15 President’s Leadership Society graduates for their participation in the program that focuses on helping students develop and apply their unique leadership skills.

Meacham and Lewisburg’s Ximena Leon were local students selected for the PLS program.

Photos submitted

Photo Caption MEACHAM: Spring 2019 graduate and Chapel Hill resident, Will Meacham, earned an Associate of Science degree in mechanical engineering and plans to continue his education at Tennessee Technological University. Meacham, a President’s Leadership Society and Tennessee Promise graduate, was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the All-Tennessee Academic Team and is the recipient of the Carolyn Allred/Lewis Moore Outstanding Student Award. In addition, he served as a tutor in the Teaching and Learning Center and has been involved in several Columbia State projects including STEM GiRLS, Science Olympiad, Veterans History Project and PTK food drives. Meacham is a second-generation Columbia State graduate and recommends the college because of the helpful and caring faculty.

Photo Caption LEON: Spring 2019 graduate and Lewisburg resident, Ximena Leon, earned an Associate of Science degree in pre-health professions and plans to continue her education at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. Leon is a President’s Leadership Society and Tennessee Promise graduate and the recipient of the English and Introduction to Biology Research Awards. In addition, she was a nominee for the Carolyn Allred/Lewis Moore Outstanding Student Award. Leon was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, served as secretary for the STEM club and was a participant in the Columbia State undergraduate research program. “My two years at Columbia State have been the best years of my life and I owe a lot of it to the amazing faculty that make up what Columbia State is,” Leon said. “I cannot express enough how thankful I am for the opportunities that Columbia State has given me.”

Photo Caption WILSON: Spring 2019 graduate and Cornersville resident, Kennedy Wilson, earned an Associate of Science degree in mass communication and plans to continue her education at Middle Tennessee State University. Wilson is the recipient of the Mass Communication Award. The Tennessee Promise graduate was a member of the Cinema Society and was a student worker in media services. “Columbia State is its own small community,” Wilson said. “Any time I hit a roadblock or needed help there were ample resources and encouragement from faculty and staff to keep me going.”