Nashville State 2021 Commencement Ceremony


Governor Bill Lee delivered the commencement address for the class of 2021 graduates of Nashville State Community College.

The virtual commencement took place on the evening of Tuesday, May 11. Nashville State celebrated the success of more than 1,228 students.

During his remarks, Lee honored the hard work of the graduating class, encouraging them to celebrate years of hard work and the achievements they have earned. He also promoted the importance of service to others by imploring the graduates to use their education to serve others in their communities.

“Graduation is my favorite day of the year. It is an affirmation of why I choose to do this work, a recognition that education is a difference-maker,” said Dr. Shanna L. Jackson, president of Nashville State. “As I often say, education doesn’t just change the lives of the individual student but their families and our communities.”

She further remarked “It is indeed a joyous celebration of a dream or goal realized. Graduates, we are so proud of you. You did not let a pandemic stop your purpose. The world is before you. You are our future. So, go out and be a light of encouragement and a beacon of hope to others.”

There were many graduates that used the tuition-free Tennessee Promise scholarship and Tennessee Reconnect grant to cover the cost of their schooling. Also, graduating will be veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and the first cohort of Nashville GRAD students.

Of the 1,228 graduates, 460 benefited from the Tennessee Reconnect grant while 305 advanced using Tennessee Promise. Fifty-seven graduates were members of the first cohort of the Nashville GRAD program, which provides Davidson County students with personalized academic and career advising and financial support beyond tuition and fees. One hundred graduates are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Nashville State also has six students graduating from the Turney Center Industrial Complex in partnership with the Tennessee Higher Education in Prison Initiative.

The College also recently held a virtual Honors Program, where 38 students were recognized for outstanding academic achievement by faculty in Business, Hospitality, and Management; English, Humanities and Creative Technologies; Healthcare Professions; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; and, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

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