The Technical College of the Lowcountry honored 355 graduates at its 2017 Commencement Exercises on Friday, May 12 at the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in downtown Beaufort, S.C. Graduates were awarded a total of 509 associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in health sciences, business, industrial technologies and transfer programs. See the list of graduates here.
TCL’s class of 2017 also included 19 high school seniors who earned enough credits through the Early College Credit Opportunities program to graduate with college certificates and associate degrees.
In his remarks, President Richard Gough congratulated the graduates for making smart choices. “The decision to pursue higher education, and to do so at TCL, was a wise investment in your future and one that will result in a lifetime of rich rewards in many ways,” he said.
Other Ceremony Highlights
Keynote Speaker & Presidential Medallion Recipient
TCL Alumnus Derrick Coaxum, of Saint Helena Island, delivered the keynote address. He encouraged the graduates to take their success to the next level and to continue to count on TCL to as they excel and grow in their careers and further studies.
Coaxum was also named the recipient of the 2017 Presidential Medallion. Recognized as TCL’s top award given to a community citizen, the Presidential Medallion honors a distinguished community leader who exhibits enthusiasm, integrity and perseverance beyond the ordinary to help build a better and stronger community. President Richard Gough praised Coaxum for his dedication to the TCL Foundation Board and for his strong advocacy of the College.
Coaxum graduated from Beaufort High School in 1990 and began his career as a surveying and engineering technician. In 2009, after earning an associate degree in civil engineering from TCL, he was promoted to the Assistant Facilities Manager and Maintenance Administrator for the Town of Hilton Head Island, a position he holds to date. He is actively involved in TCL Foundation Board, Lands End Woodland organization and Faith Memorial Church. He and his wife of 11 years, Deedric Bryant, have two sons, Derrick Jr. and Detrick, and reside on Saint Helena Island.
In her address, she commended her fellow graduates for their perseverance. “Graduating this evening proves that you, Class of 2017, have dedicated yourselves to being a better you,” she said. “You have proved yourself through hard work.”
Harmon has worked in the airline industry for the last eight years, serving as a ramp agent, flight attendant, and customer service agent. After graduation, Harmon plans to travel abroad with her family while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health sciences. She and her husband, John, live in Savannah with their daughter, Lilli Beth.
About Technical College of the Lowcountry
The Technical College of the Lowcountry will elevate each student and every community we serve through transformative technology and exceptional teaching. One of sixteen colleges comprising the South Carolina Technical College System, the College traces its origin to the Mather School founded in 1868. TCL is a comprehensive, public, two-year College dedicated to serving the diverse educational needs of Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties. TCL provides quality, affordable academic and technical programs leading to associate degrees, diplomas and certificates. For more information, visit www.tcl.edu or call 843.525.8211
Statement of Non-Discrimination
The Technical College of the Lowcountry is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all qualified applicants for admissions or employment without regard to race, gender, national origin, age, religion, marital status, veteran status, disability, or political affiliation or belief.