On Saturday, May 4th, Dr. Scott Cook, President of Dyersburg State Community College (DSCC), presided over the 54th annual commencement ceremony. The commencement ceremony honored the achievements of 575 candidates for credentials.

The ceremony began with special music by the Dyersburg State Community College Choir: Vox Civitas, directed by Mr. Thomas Frost, Instructor of Music, and accompanied by Ms. Sarah Jean. Ms. Desiree Dolan performed “Ave Maria.”

Dr. Scott Cook delivered the welcome message, expressing his gratitude to the attendees and proudly introducing faculty, staff, and distinguished guests. While addressing the graduating class, Dr. Cook acknowledged the sacrifice and help required to achieve their educational aspirations: “While this ceremony is truly a celebration of our students and your accomplishments, this event is also a celebration for everyone who helped you along your path; family who prepared a meal or babysat for you, a friend who helped you study or listened when you wanted to give up or someone at Dyersburg State who believed in you perhaps even more than you believed in yourself.”

Dr. Cook recognized the graduates of the Alpha Epsilon Alpha chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, highlighting the significant role of community support and leading a moment of appreciation for the families, friends, and faculty whose support has been instrumental in the graduates’ journeys.

Mr. Jayden Crawford, the President of the Student Government Association, introduced the commencement speaker, Dr. Flora W. Tydings, Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents. In her inspiring address, Dr. Tydings spoke about resilience and kindness, urging the graduates to carry these values forward: I urge you always to let kindness be your guiding principle and default attitude. Choose to lift others rather than tear anyone down; choose to listen with an open heart and mind rather than jumping to a fast conclusion; choose to be a source of encouragement and inspiration rather than one of indifference or apathy. Remember, the impact of your words and actions extends far beyond when you say them,” stated Dr. Tydings. With personal inspiration and a call to action, her message was received with enthusiastic applause from the graduates and the audience.

The ceremony also celebrated the first graduates of two new programs at DSCC: Eagle Access, a program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the Middle College program, which enables rising high school juniors to graduate from DSCC with a concentration in general studies even before they graduate high school.

Dr. Amy Johnson presented the candidates, followed by the conferring of degrees by Dr. Cook. The academic division announced graduates led by Dr. Jimmy Barham, Dean of Arts, Sciences, & Technologies, and Ms. Jackie Watson, Dean of Health Sciences.

As the ceremony concluded, Dr. Cook encouraged the Class of 2024 to fondly remember their time at DSCC and consider the college a part of their extended family. The commencement ended symbolically with the graduates moving their tassels from right to left, signifying their official graduation status. The DSCC community looks forward to the positive impacts these individuals will undoubtedly make in their professional fields and communities.