Tyler Junior College opened its Spring 2017 semester with convocation ceremonies Tuesday in Wise Auditorium.
TJC President Dr. Mike Metke welcomed faculty and staff after a performance by the TJC Jazz Band. Metke shared a look ahead, highlighting upcoming activities and explained what makes TJC successful.
The theme, “Learning from the Best, Becoming the Best,” was demonstrated with alumni testimonials by Winona ISD Superintendent Cody Mize and Grand Saline ISD Superintendent Micah Lewis along with his wife Susan, also a TJC alumna.
Current students Gavin Downing of Lindale, Victoria Dickson of Tyler, and Daniel Seguin of Ben Wheeler, addressed the capacity crowd at Wise, with testimonials about TJC’s competitive edge, preparation for the future and the ability to excel both at the college and in life. TJC alumnus Clifton Henry of Tyler, who is currently enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin, also spoke thanking his professors and other TJC leaders who had inspired and encouraged him.
In her address, Dickson said there were four things she felt were important when deciding about college and she found them at TJC. She looked for faculty who care about students’ success beyond the classroom, challenging curriculum, student life that encourages active participation and a school that she would be proud to claim as her alma mater. Dickson also challenged faculty and staff saying, “You have the power to transform students’ lives through your enthusiasm.” Downing, Dickson and Seguin all thanked professors and staff for their support and encouragement.
Employee acknowledgements included welcoming new employees to TJC “Apache Nation” and recognizing several outstanding departments and individuals with awards. On behalf of the TJC Assessment Committee, Professor Rachel Jennische and Department Chair Bill Stiles presented the Demonstrated Excellence Awards, which honor an entire department for improvements in student success factors. Accepting awards were Dr. Jeffrey Owens for History and Geography, Dean Dr. Linda Gary for Humanities and Philosophy, and Department Chair Michael White for Respiratory Care. Demonstrated Excellence Awards were presented for multiple years of success in student outcomes to Department Chair Loretta Swan for Medical Office Management and Department Chair Jodi Seal for Associate Degree of Nursing.
Dr. Metke, along with former Dean of Humanities, Communications and Fine Arts Sarah Herrin Harrison, presented the Herrin Award for Excellence, which recognizes dedicated service by staff members. The award honors the memory of Ms. Harrison’s parents W. Oscar and Marguerite Dudley Herrin. Recipients included: Judy Durham, records coordinator, Nursing & Health Sciences; Nina Rochelle, staff technician, Payroll/Business Services; Herschel Thomas, Campus Police officer; and Juan Reyna, groundskeeper.
TJC continues to celebrate 90 years of offering affordable and accessible quality education. Classes resume Tuesday, Jan. 17, with nearly 12,000 students expected for the spring semester.
Established in 1926, Tyler Junior College is one of the largest community colleges in Texas, with nearly 12,000 students enrolled per semester. For 90 years, TJC has embodied the true sense of the term “community college,” as reflected in its foundational promises to provide students with a quality education, a vibrant student life and opportunities for service to the community. TJC offers more than 120 degree and certificate programs, plus extensive training and technical programs, and offers opportunities for students to transfer to a four-year institution or gain the skills they need to go directly into the workforce. The college recently received legislative approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to be the only Texas community college to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene. TJC features a 137-acre campus, rigorous academics, 54 national championships in athletics, stellar fine and performing arts programs; modern residential facilities, and organizations and clubs that reflect student diversity. In 2016, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named TJC as one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges.