President Tracy D. Hall
Thank you for another great year
We conferred nearly 1,500 credentials earlier this month. This 21st commencement was a resounding success. Our graduates poured onto the FedExForum floor through four entrances to the sound of a jazzy rendition of Pomp and Circumstance as their proud family and friends, along with faculty, staff and special guests, saluted them with thunderous applause. What followed that triumphant entrance was a beautiful ceremony that featured inspirational remarks by student speaker Brandon Johnson and our commencement speaker Beverly Robertson, President & CEO for the Greater Memphis Regional Chamber. They both informed and inspired us all.
I cannot thank this year’s commencement committee and volunteers enough for the tremendous job they did in coordinating an elegant, celebratory ceremony that was a fitting tribute to our graduates’ achievements. A special thank you to Vice President for Student Affairs Jacqueline Faulkner and Dr. Nikita Ashford-Ashworth for their tireless leadership and steadfast attention to detail. From the delicious brunch enjoyed by faculty, staff and special guests to the graduates staying until they were dismissed, and everything in between, the day was outstanding.
We were able to broadcast this beautiful event to the world thanks to our Information Technology Services department under the leadership of Michael Boyd and our marketing and communications team under the leadership of Daphne Thomas. Thanks to their teams’ efforts, our ceremony was live-streamed on Facebook and our hashtags inspired participants to immerse social media in grand style with heartwarming posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. A special treat was knowing that our graduates traveling abroad were able to participate. They also posted beautiful photos on social media in full regalia, smiling broadly with Rome’s splendid architecture in the background.
Also special thanks to the Physical Plant staff under the leadership of Jonathan Welden for the amazing job they did in preparing the venue in record time that morning. It was a Herculean effort that they made seem effortless. All was proof that teamwork makes the dream work. Southwest just continues to reach new and amazing levels everyday! I truly could not ask for a better team!
Thank you for another great year. I wish you a safe, enjoyable summer. For those faculty who are teaching this summer, thank you for helping our students maintain their momentum toward earning a life-changing credential. Many will take that same proud stroll across the stage at commencement next year, ready to move on to the next level in their career, education and life.
As always, thank you for all that you do.
Dr. Tracy D. Hall