51st Wallace State Community College Commencement

by | May 13, 2017 | Blount, City News, County News, Cullman, Cullman Tonight, Get Smart, Hanceville, People, Students

51st Wallace State Community College Commencement

There is nothing quite like a full house at Tom Drake Coliseum, particularly on commencement night.

Wallace State Community College in Hanceville celebrated it’s 51st-anniversary graduation and commencement Friday evening. 500 students took part in the larger ceremony with right at 1,300 earning degrees or certificates issued in the 2016/2017 school year.

Wallace State President Vicki Karolewics, beaming much like a proud parent, was her usually inspiring, insightful self at the podium in front of a maximum capacity (6,000 people) crowd of students, faculty, administrators, families and friends of the college.

Dr. Karolewics arranged for several for several Wallace State alumni, Cullman area dignitaries, and local elected officials to be very special guests at the ceremony.

The special platform guests included:

Rep. Randall Shedd
Nicole Lindon – WSCC alumna
Kelci Tuggle – Wallace State Student Government Association President

Steve James, the founder of the international relief organization, Kenya Relief, received a special Distinguished Alumni Award.

James was among five male students in the college’s first graduating nursing class of twenty-five students back in 1975. After his graduation from Wallace, he became a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

His remarkable next 30 years brought great success in his chosen field before he retired and formed Kenya Relief.

He began KenyaRelief.org, with a small orphanage in Migori, Kenya. This facility has grown to serve nearly 200 children today, many who continue to be AIDS orphans. His organization has expanded to include a private K-7 elementary school, and the Kenya Relief Academy, which now educates 500 students each year with a waiting list to serve more. Kenya Relief’s Brase Vision and Medical Clinic, the most modern medical facility in the area, has treated more than 115,000 patients to date with thousands more served each year.

Since opening its doors in 1966, Wallace State has educated hundreds of thousands of students. Tens of thousands have had degrees earned.

Awesome Wallace stat line: Wallace State Community College produces more graduates than any other institution in the Alabama Community College System and is known for its reputation for excellence as one of the most outstanding community colleges in the nation.

As has become a tradition during commencement, Dr. Karolewics shared the stories of several students who represent the broad spectrum of the community college mission and the student experience at Wallace State:

“Today, more than ever, we need to be reminded of the promise of our great country and responsibility to serve each other. Our guiding principle is to put students first in all that we do. But actually, these graduates have set the best example of that in their service to each other. They lift each other up, and are willing to share their strengths and their stories — some quite challenging — to inspire and assist their classmates.”

Dr. Karolewics mentioned these individuals directly from the podium:

★ ANGIE MOODY
★ WALLACE STATE ATHLETES
★ CALEB WOODS
★ JOSH MURPHREE
★ JAMES STEPHENS
★ REGAN SHORT

Each of their truly amazing personal and educational stories can be found here.

Special presentations were made to:

Bryan Holmes, a General Studies student from Hartselle, for the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence

Emmanuel Reynoso Arce, an Engineering Technology student from Arab, for the Presidential Award for Technical Excellence;

Donald Wayne May, a Medical Laboratory Technology student from Jasper, for the Presidential Award for Health Excellence.

These awards go to students of superior achievement in each area and are the highest honors presented at graduation.

Music was provided by the Wallace State Concert Choir and Symphonic Band.

Dr. Karolewics:

“Graduates, you all have two things in common — dreams and perseverance. As you embark on the next chapter of your life, continue to set your aspirations high.”

Most Recent Stories On Cullman Today

Superintendent Barnett Delivers Hats Off Performance On First Report Card

image by: Sherea Harris Superintendent Barnett Delivers Hats Off Performance On First Report Card Cullman County Board of Education's (CCBoE) fateful decision in March of 2016 to hire a local newcomer superintendent to salvage a previously negative leadership...
Read More

Double Fatality In Bremen: Car Catches Fire After Colliding With Tree

image by: Michele Rogers Double Fatality In Bremen: Car Catches Fire After Colliding With Tree This location of the mishap was approximately one-half mile off of Highway 69 almost equidistant between Bremen and Dodge City. Emergency responders were dispatched to...
Read More

Senator Paul Bussman Final 4 Days 2017 Legislative Session

Senator Paul Bussman Final 4 Days 2017 Legislative Session Only four days are left in the 2017 Alabama Legislative Session; Senator Bussman breakdown what he expects to see this week. Paul Bussman, the Alabama State District 4 Senator (serving Cullman, Lawrence,...
Read More

Overnight Blaze Destroys Spring Hill Workshop

image by: Cullman Today Overnight Blaze Destroys Spring Hill Workshop "The structure was fully involved in fire. We had a fast response and with Logan's mutual aid we were able to finally get this fire knocked down and extinguished." Firefighters from Bethsadia VFD...
Read More

Thousands Raised For Connected Parks At Dinner On First 2017

Thousands Raised For Connected Parks At Dinner On First 2017 Dinner On First was indeed a ritzy party. Far more profoundly, if you care to go deep, it was emblematic of what makes Cullman terrific. Dinner On First 2017 was far more than a ritzy get together in support...
Read More

Cullman Republicans Removes Jame Graves After Sexual Abuse Charge

Cullman Republicans Remove James Graves After Sexual Abuse Charge The Committee moved today to ensure that we protect strong, conservative principles. After learning of reports that James Graves had been accused of (and admitted to) felony charges of first-degree...
Read More

Tiffany Collins

Tiffany Collins is Cullman Today's Community Events & Life Announcements Coordinator. She enjoys supporting citizens of greater Cullman County in celebrating their personal and professional successes and achievements.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share With Friends

Share this post with your friends!