Vol State Celebrates Fall 2020 Graduation Virtually

Vol State Fall 2020 graduation ceremony.

Volunteer State Community College celebrated Fall Graduation 2020 with a virtual ceremony today. More than eight hundred students were eligible to participate in commencement, including 312 TN Promise students and 228 TN Reconnect students. Those programs provide tuition-free education for eligible Tennessee students. The online ceremony featured short speeches from administrators and faculty members. As the names of the graduates were read, hundreds of pictures and short videos produced by the students were shown. They came from all four Vol State campuses: Gallatin, Springfield, Livingston, and Cookeville.

Lillian Hickman of Cross Plains was named Outstanding Graduate. She was involved in numerous activities at the college, including the Student Government Association and Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. She also assisted with Music Department events and projects. Nominating faculty members cited her dedication to helping other students and service in the community, including volunteer work at the YMCA and the White House Hope Center.

Graduate Nyalat Bidit was born in Ethiopia and came to the United States from South Sudan. The mother of four developed her language skills in the Vol State English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program and is eligible to receive a degree in pre-nursing. “I knew English, but I didn’t speak it well. It was really hard. I appreciate all of the ESOL instructors. They lifted me up so I could learn how to write a paper and do college level work.” 

Patrick Collum of Gallatin earned a Computer Information Technology degree in Cyber Defense. He was recently hired to work for the Sumner County Board of Education. He had been an emergency medical technician for the last ten years. “Growing up my father was a police officer. Today, most cybercrimes go unsolved. People are paying large ransoms and the perpetrators can be operating from the other side of the world. It seems like a challenge.”

Evelyn Hill of the Class of 2000 spoke as the Distinguished Alumnus of the year. For pictures from Fall Graduation 2020 visit www.facebook.com/volstate.