Motlow State 48th Annual Commencement ceremonies expanded due to graduating class size
Motlow State Community College will host its forty-eighth annual Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 5, inside Nisbett Center on the Moore County campus. The College’s consistent enrollment growth has necessitated expansion of the event to three separate ceremonies.
According to the Motlow office of Admissions and Records, over 1,100 Motlow students have applied to graduate, constituting the largest graduating class in the history of the College. At 10 a.m, Moore County and Fayetteville campus students will graduate. The 1 p.m. ceremony will graduate students from the McMinnville campus and the Nursing class. The day will conclude at 4 p.m. with the Smyrna campus students having degrees conferred upon them.
Presiding over the ceremonies will be Dr. Michael L. Torrence, who will be the new president of Motlow. Torrence is scheduled to take office at the College on May 1.
“In addition to expanding to a third ceremony this year, for the first time in its history Motlow will conduct a fall commencement in December,” said Terri Bryson, vice president of marketing and student activities. “These measures are not only to accommodate the continued enrollment growth at Motlow, but also to better support changes in student matriculation timelines and to ensure we can accommodate as many of their graduation guests as possible.”
The guest speaker at the 10 a.m. ceremony will be Mike Krause (@mikekrauseTN), executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) and Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation. Prior to assuming this role, Krause served as the founding executive director of the Tennessee Promise and Drive to 55; his work for these important state initiatives has direct correlation to the impressive enrollment increases Motlow State has experienced over the last three years. He is a decorated U.S. Army veteran and eighth generation Tennessean who earned his bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State Universtiy and his master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.
Krissy DeAlejandro (@kdealejandro), executive director of tnAchieves, will be the guest speaker at the 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. ceremonies.tnAchieves is a scholarship and mentoring program that supports students as they transition from high school through post-secondary. As the leader of the partnering organization for Tennessee Promise, DeAlejandro’s work through tnAchieves has contributed to enrollment increases and student outcomes for Motlow and other community colleges throughout Tennessee, with the overwhelming majority of these students being the first in their families to attend college. Raised in a small town in rural Tennessee, Krissy herself is the first in her family to attend college. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of the South, Sewanee, and pursued her master’s degree and doctorate at the University of Tennessee where she also began teaching at age 24.