(ROSENBERG, Texas) – The summer 2021 commencement ceremony for Texas State Technical College’s campus in Fort Bend County might have been missing caps and gowns and graduates walking across a stage, but that did not keep it from being a celebration.
“When you registered for your first class, this was not what you thought your graduation day would look like — and neither did I,” said Randy Wooten, provost of the TSTC campus in Rosenberg. “But it is important to celebrate life’s milestones, and graduations are one of the most important, regardless of what they look like.”
Graduates from multiple programs — Cybersecurity, Diesel Equipment Technology, Industrial Systems and more — had the opportunity to watch for their name to appear on screen during the virtual graduation, which was held via Facebook Live.
Family members and friends offered their congratulations throughout the event. Afterward, they could view graduates’ photos and degrees in a Facebook album.
TSTC Chancellor and CEO Mike Reeser lauded the graduates for a “rare accomplishment” — only two in five Americans have earned a college credential, he said.
“Throughout your time at TSTC, you’ve strengthened yourself with the skills needed to make your life better for yourself and for those that matter most to you,” he said. “What you have accomplished is more than most.”
TSTC’s virtual commencement served as an example of how life has changed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the midst of your training, our state suffered an unprecedented pandemic,” Reeser said. “And yet you persevered through. Relish in the fact that all the choices and sacrifices you’ve made along the way culminate in this special moment in time. This is your time.”
He added that the skills graduates have learned will serve them well.
“During the years ahead, we may face some uncertainties,” Reeser said. “One thing we know with conviction is we’re going to need Texans like you — talented people who can and will apply superlative hands-on skills to improve our state and help build our economic recovery.”
Wooten compared graduation to winning the lottery in terms of students’ potential for success.
“Your degree or your certificate is your winning ticket to a better job and a better future for you and your family,” he said. “They’re the road that you’ve chosen to follow because you want the American dream — prosperity for you and your loved ones.”
View the archived summer 2021 virtual graduation and accompanying program at tstc.edu/graduation.