TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 30, 2014) –
Tallahassee Community College will hold its 48th commencement ceremony
at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 3, at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.
TCC will graduate close to 3,000
students earning an associate’s degree from the Summer 2013, Fall 2013 and
Spring 2014 terms. More than 400 graduates are expected to participate in
will include remarks from TCC President Jim Murdaugh and student speaker Anthony Johnson. Judge Nikki Ann Clarke, Florida First District Court of Appeal,
will be the guest speaker.
Johnson, a Tallahassee
native who will receive his Associate in Arts degree on Saturday, plans to
transfer to Florida State University in the fall to major in economics. He is a
member of Black Male Achievers and the Black Student Union.
Judge Clark has served
the Florida justice system for more than two decades in various capacities,
notably designing and implementing the Independent Living and Unified Family courts.
She is vice-chair of the Florida Supreme Court Committee on Children and
Families in the Court. Clark taught trial practice at the Florida State
University College of Law from 1998 to 2009 and has also taught seminars and
courses on elections dispute litigation and principles of democracy in nine
West African nations, including Nigeria, Senegal and Mali. Clark has received
numerous awards and recognitions for her judicial and public service, including
Florida State University’s Rosa L. Parks Leadership Award for Judicial Service,
the Sojourner Truth Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Judge
of the Year from the Florida Law-Related Education Association and the
Administration of Justice Award from the Florida Chapter of the American Board
of Trial Advocates.
* * *
TCC’s graduating class
includes several students who have had remarkable journeys to a college degree.
Below is a sample of these inspiring stories:
Lydia Gartwait is an
18-year-old dual-enrolled/home-school student who will graduate with her A.A.
degree. Gartwait received a scholarship through QuestBridge to transfer to
Colorado College, where she will major in biology and anthropology. After
obtaining her bachelor’s degree, Gartwait plans to join the Peace Corps before
going to medical school. She is a Tallahassee native and a member of the TCC Honors
Originally from India, Bindi
Patel came to the United States in 2011. She enrolled at TCC in 2012 in
academic support classes and will graduate this spring with an A.A. degree and a
GPA of 3.82. Patel serves as a math tutor at the TCC Learning Commons and is a
member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the International Student
Association. She is passionate about computer programming. Patel will attend FSU
to pursue a degree in computer science. Her goal is to become a versatile applications
Hamad Almutairi decided
at the age of 20 to leave his university's engineering program in Kuwait to
move to the United States to pursue his dream of becoming a filmmaker. Upon his
arrival at TCC, Almutairi first
enrolled in the College's English Language Program to improve his English. He
then went on to earn a 3.62 GPA in his A.A. degree program. In Fall 2014, Almutairi will enroll in the Rochester
Institute of Technology's program in film studies. Of his ultimate goal
following completion of his undergraduate studies, Almutairi said, "I want to be the bridge between Arab culture
and the rest of the world, to communicate with them through movies, to share
with them the culture of the Arab people."
Toinya Campbell began at TCC in academic support programs and is now completing her A.A. degree. She will
transfer to FSU to pursue a degree in communications with a minor in film. Campbell
was a member of TCC’s award-winning forensics team, winning two gold medals,
two silver metals and one bronze medal while competing at two national
tournaments. Of her experience on the TCC forensics team, Campbell said,
"This program saved and changed my life. It allowed me to challenge myself
and triumph in the midst of my trials." She plans to pursue a career in
Marcelo Del Vecchio was
born in Bogota, Colombia. He moved to the United States in 2002 and later
attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale. Del Vecchio is very
involved with many student organizations, such as the International Student
Organization. He will start at FSU in the fall as a business major.