Columbia State Announces Spring 2018 Commencement Ceremonies and Speakers

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. April 24, 2018) - - - For the second consecutive year, Columbia State Community College will celebrate its spring 2018 commencement with two ceremonies on May 5 in the Webster Athletic Center. The first ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature student speaker, Kirkland Pinkerton, and the second will begin at 2 p.m. and will feature student speaker, Meagan Walsh.  

“This is an exciting time for our students and for our college,” said Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president. “This is a time where we celebrate our students’ accomplishments – we applaud the person they have become, are excited about their future, and are proud that they are now a Columbia State alum.”

Pinkerton is a sophomore, sociology major and is earning his Associate of Science degree. Pinkerton has dedicated much of his time working with and for Columbia State students and the communities it serves. He began his journey in the Student Government Association as a senator his freshman year, and was later elected to serve as SGA president for two consecutive terms where he was instrumental in assisting with the restructure of the SGA to embody the inclusiveness of all Columbia State campuses. Pinkerton, a President’s Leadership Society graduate, has been involved in other student organizations including PRISM, Sigma Kappa Delta National English Honor Society, Charger Activity Board, Columbia State Foundation student representative and many more. In addition, he has logged over 350 hours of community service and leadership experience.

Aside from his service locally, he has made an impact at the state level as the Tennessee Board of Regents Student Government President’s Council secretary in 2016-2017, and as their president for 2017-2018. In 2017, he was a semi-finalist for the TBR Student Regent position.

The Centerville native is a graduate of Hickman County High School and will transfer to Austin Peay State University in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He ultimately plans to earn a master’s in sociology and a doctorate degree in higher education administration.

“It’s been amazing to watch Kirkland’s journey unfold at Columbia State,” said Cady Tice, Columbia State student leadership coordinator. “Over two terms as the Student Government Association president, I have seen him grow and evolve as a leader both on campus and at the state level. Some students settle for a title, but Kirkland is one of those students that always strives to be more and do more. I cannot wait to see what he achieves as he moves on to the next chapter of his college career.”

Walsh, a Lewisburg native and graduate of Marshall County High School, is graduating from Columbia State with an Associate of Applied Science degree in nursing. In the fall, she plans to transfer to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville to complete the RN to BSN program online. She ultimately plans to pursue a master’s degree in nursing. In the future, Walsh wants to work in the education field, because she enjoys helping and teaching others.

During her time at Columbia State, Walsh served as regional president and regional secretary for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, while also holding a leadership position on the chapter level as the Beta Kappa Theta chapter public relations officer.

In addition to her involvement in PTK, Walsh is a President’s Leadership Society graduate; a PTK Honors Institute Scholar; has served as a tutor in the Teaching and Learning Center since January 2016; and is a member of PRISM, the Charger Activity Board for the Lewisburg Campus and the Student Nursing Association where she served as secretary and president.

Walsh has received various scholarships such as the J.R. Moon Scholarship, Leonard Moon Nursing Scholarship and the Columbia State Study Abroad Scholarship. She was named a 2017 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges, and was recently selected for the 2018 PTK All-Tennessee Academic Team, which recognizes academic achievement, leadership and service to the community.

“As a nursing major, Meagan has faced the challenge of balancing a very rigorous program of study and clinical schedules with being actively involved in campus life,” said Mandy Carter-Lowe, Columbia State associate professor of biology and PTK advisor. “She is not only a student leader in various organizations at Columbia State, but her work as a regional officer for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society has earned Tennessee many accolades at the organization’s international level. I have much admiration for Meagan’s perseverance and work ethic.”

The commencement ceremonies will be streamed live for remote viewing. The 10 a.m. ceremony can be found at https://livestream.com/ChargerNetwork/events/8174318. The 2 p.m. ceremony can be found at https://livestream.com/ChargerNetwork/events/8174328.

For the safety of students, faculty, staff and guests, security personnel will conduct a speedy inspection of all bags, purses and containers. The following items will not be allowed inside or outside during the commencement ceremonies: weapons, alcohol, laser pointers, lawn chairs, drones, glass containers or any other item deemed unacceptable by Columbia State security or staff.

For a full list of prohibited items, parking, special seating information or further details regarding commencement, please visit www.ColumbiaState.edu/Graduation.

The Webster Athletic Center and the Frank G. Clement Building are on the Columbia Campus, located at 1665 Hampshire Pike. Guests should plan to arrive early as seating is limited. Overflow seating will be available in the Ledbetter Auditorium in the Frank G. Clement building.

Graduation Speaker, Kirkland Pinkerton
Photo Caption:
Kirkland Pinkerton. 

Graduation Speaker, Meagan Walsh
Photo Caption:
Meagan Walsh.

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