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Texas College Holds Commencement Activities (551 hits)

Texas College held Commencement activities Friday, May 5, 2017 and Saturday, May 6, 2017. They are as follows:

Friday, May 5, 2017:
Flag Raising Ceremony:
The Flag Raising Ceremony is an annual ceremony where the graduating class raises their Class Flag to symbolically send a statement to the community that Texas College has prepared, yet again, a class of leaders for the future. This ceremony is a tradition at Texas College. Each Division Chair, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Cynthia Marshall-Biggins, the Class Advisor, the Valedictorian, and Salutatorian delivered congratulatory remarks. The flag is flown overnight and retrieved the following morning, post a graduate breakfast, signed by all graduates and delivered to the Office of Alumni Affairs to be flown for anniversary returns.

Baccalaureate Service:
Rev. Shazetta Thompson-Hill spoke, preaching the importance of being a role model for children, as well as quoted the Texas College motto “Give the people light and they will find their way!”. Rev. Thompson-Hill told students that they had been given the light through their education; now it’s their responsibility to use it. She also emphasized the importance of God in their lives and encouraged them to “choose life” by choosing to be a Christian. Following Rev. Thompson-Hill, Dr. Dwight J. Fennell, President, gave remarks to the class. Dr. Fennell reinforced the idea of “choosing life” to the graduates saying, “I was scared when I got my degrees. I asked myself ‘What have I gotten into?’. Trust in God. Choose life.” Dr. Fennell then closed referencing Psalm 91 verse 1.

Following Dr. Fennell’s remarks the students were given Bibles as gifts from the college, made possible by the 8th Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. After the graduates had received their gifts, Bishop Ronald M. Cunningham blessed the Class of 2017.

Graduate Luncheon:
A luncheon was hosted for the graduates and their families. Dr. Fennell addressed The Connector, full of graduates, families, guests, faculty, and staff emphasizing the importance of alumni engagement to the institution. He challenged them to come back, be involved, stay engaged, and bring experiences to not only the college, but to the currently enrolled students. On behalf of the Fennell family, Dwight Sr., Angelia, and Dwight Jr., the graduates were presented with another gift; two silver metal pens inscribed Texas College.

Saturday, May 6, 2017:
Welcome and greetings were brought by Senior Bishop Lawrence L. Red****, III, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Councilman Edward Moore, City of Tyler Councilman, Barbara Hawkins, Executive Director of Texas Association of Developing Colleges, and Trustee Spencer Hervey, President of the Texas College National Alumni Association.
C. L. “Shep” Shepherd, Chief Executive Officer of Shep Inspires, LLC., addressed the graduating class. Shepherd’s speech focused on growing up in extreme poverty as 1/15 siblings, while his single mother worked multiple jobs, struggling to keep them afloat. Shepherd mentioned a failed suicide in his teen years that forged his relationship with God. Shepherd, despite the odds, used athletics to receive a college degree, and even played in the NFL. To close, he encouraged the graduates to overcome adversity and to, most importantly, trust in god; which he attributes all success.
Following the Commencement Address, Dr. Cynthia Marshall-Biggins presented the 119 candidates for graduation to Dr. Dwight J. Fennell, where he conferred their degrees. The college also recognized the Valedictorian, Ariel Chandler, and Salutatorian, Janice Lewis, for their academic achievement. Texas College awarded two honorary degrees, the Doctor of Humane Letters, to Leon L. McCowan and Orenthia D. Mason, presented by Dr. Dwight J. Fennell, Dr. Jerry L. Christian, and Dr. Pene’ G. Woods. Furthermore, the college presented Barbara Hawkins and Orenthia Mason with the President’s Service Award. Texas College also awarded a degree posthumously to Santiago Mason, Class of 2017 student-athlete at Texas College who was killed in a car wreck over the 2016 Summer. In an emotional moment, Mason’s mother, Antoinette Young, accepted the degree, thanking the college, Dr. Fennell, and congratulating the class. The college also recognized alumna, Tredis Griffin, on her 50th Anniversary.

To bring Commencement to a close, the graduates sang the Alma Mater one final time prior to recessing out.

About Texas College (TC)
Celebrating over 120 years of providing educational opportunities, Texas College is a historical black college founded in 1894, by a group of CME ministers. Our mission, which continues to embody the principles of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, is to ensure that the student body experiences balanced intellectual, psychological, social and spiritual development, aimed at enabling them to become active productive members of society where they live and work. TC is led by its 23rd President Dr. Dwight Fennell. To learn more about Texas College, visit us on the web at www.texascollege.edu. For information regarding planned giving, endowed scholarships and sponsorships, please contact The Office of the President at afennell@texascollege.edu or call 903.593.8311 ext. 2270.
The college also had a mother, son, daughter trio of graduates that day: Ruby Hollie, mother, Chester Brent Miller, son, Timikia Miller, daughter.
Posted By: Reginald Culpepper
Wednesday, May 17th 2017 at 7:25PM
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