(WACO, Texas) – More than 300 graduates from Texas State Technical College’s Waco campus received certificates and associate degrees at TSTC’s Fall 2021 Commencement held Saturday, Dec. 11, at The BASE at the Extraco Events Center in Waco.
Jeff Kilgore, interim provost of TSTC’s Waco campus and statewide vice chancellor and chief academic officer, was thrilled with the first in-person ceremony being held since fall 2019.
“Today we are celebrating the living testimony of everything that is great about TSTC and its 56-year-old mission,” he said.
Dillon Meek, mayor of Waco, was the keynote speaker. He said that Texas is dependent on TSTC graduates to fill critical jobs. He called on graduates to become leaders in their communities, churches or neighborhoods.
“A TSTC degree means your family will have access to financial security,” Meek said.
Several graduates already have jobs, while others are making plans for the future.
Pedro Hernandez, of Bremond, earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Automotive Technology.
“I enjoyed the hands-on work,” he said.
Hernandez worked during college at a used-car dealership doing detailing and maintenance work. But later this month, he will begin a new career as a technician at Allen Samuels Chevrolet Buick GMC in Hearne.
“It has not really hit me yet, but I’m ready,” he said.
Dylan Burns, of Pleasanton, received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Aircraft Pilot Training Technology.
“The whole thing has been positive regarding the program,” he said. “It’s challenging, but fun.”
After the ceremony, Burns said he and his relatives planned to go out to eat to celebrate.
Burns’ plans for the future are to work as a certified flight instructor and later fly professionally.
“I am excited and looking forward to the future,” he said.
Elizabeth Stiles, of Garland, received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Programming Technology. She graduated with Phi Theta Kappa and TSTC Board of Regents honors.
“I’m happy I got everything done and it went well,” she said.
Stiles started the program taking in-person classes, but as TSTC adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic, her program was moved online. She enjoyed taking online classes since she could focus better and do lessons without waking up early.
Stiles is doing interviews now for remote work and wants to live in Canada someday.
For more information, log on to tstc.edu.