Northeast State celebrated the Class of 2012, awarding more than 1,000 degrees and certificates May 8 at commencement exercises.
The event was held at the Mountain State Health Alliance Athletics Center on the East Tennessee State University campus.
Northeast State awarded 5 academic certificates, 89 technical certificates, 388 associate of applied science degrees, 36 associate of arts degrees, 31 associate of science in teaching degrees, and 457 associate of science degrees. A total of 136 students graduated cum laude (3.6 – 3.74 GPA), 77 received magna cum laude distinction (3.75 – 3.89 GPA), and 79 students were summa cum laude (3.9 – 4.0 GPA) graduates.
Rep. Matthew Hill, a Northeast State alumnus who represents the 7th House District in the Tennessee General Assembly, was commencement speaker.
Hill encouraged graduates to enjoy the moment, but plan for a future that includes as much learning and meaningful work as possible.
“Your graduation is also your commencement. There is much more to be learning and much more to be experienced, and much, much more to be appreciated,” Hill said. “After the celebration with faculty, family, and friends, be ready to travel to new destinations, to brighter horizons, to heights of splendor, to work that is fulfilling, and to a future that is filled with hopes and dreams.”
Hill holds an associate of science degree from Northeast State and a bachelor of science degree from East Tennessee State University. He is vice president of Operations of the Information Communications Corporation. He was first elected in 2004 and has served in the 104th through the 107th General Assemblies.
Dr. Janice H. Gilliam, president of Northeast State recognized alumnus and local entrepreneur J. Allen Hurley as a recipient of the Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy for 2012.
The award is based on criteria of generous giving of time and resources to TBR institutions and ethical leadership, philanthropy, civic responsibility, and integrity.
Hurley ranks as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the region. As founder and former chair of Touchstone Wireless, Hurley built the company into the largest national cell phone repair and reverse logistic company in Northeast America. Hurley sold the company to Brightpoint North America in 2010 and currently serves as president of Vision, llc.
Also noted was Northeast State’ Brittany Thomas – one of 20 outstanding students named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team. She was chosen from more than 1,700 applicants representing 800 community colleges across the nation. She is the first Northeast State student to receive the honor. Thomas received $4,500 in scholarships for the honor.
The American Association of Community Colleges, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, USA Today, and the Follett Higher Education Group collaborate on the annual honor, focusing on students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and community and college involvement.
In addition, Gilliam recognized the Distinguished Staff Awards given to Northeast State’s faculty and staff who are nominated by their colleagues for their outstanding service to students and the College.
Dr. Nancy Forrester received the Distinguished Administrative/Professional Staff Member Award. Forrester is dean of the Mathematics Department and director of Learning Support. Last year she led her department to create a new Learning Support math curriculum including a new textbook.
Dr. Ed Osborne was honored with the Distinguished Faculty Member Award. Osborne is an associate professor of chemistry at Northeast State.
Erin Blevins won the Distinguished Support Staff Member Award. Blevins administers the popular Educate and Grow Scholarship Program at Northeast State. Educate and Grow provides scholarship funds to students residing in all five counties of the College’s service region.