TMCC College News

1,148 Students from 8 Countries and U.S. Graduate from TMCC

Posted: May 19, 2014

Picture of Whip Villarreal at Graduation 2013

Whip Villarreal, Journalism Student of the Year 2012-2013, graduated in May 2013.

UPDATE: Pictures from Commencement taken by TMCC photographers may be downloaded free; DVDs of the event can be purchased from TMCC's Commencement Web page.

An imposing total of 1,148 Truckee Meadows Community College students graduated with a degree or certificate for the 2013-2014 academic year, according to Admissions and Records. This number is an increase from last year’s figure of 1,086.

“There are 25 international graduates this year from eight different countries,” said Nadine Winslow, Executive Assistant in President Sheehan’s office.

The youngest to graduate, at 17, earned an Associate of Science, and the oldest to receive a diploma is 73, receiving an Associate of General Studies degree. Veteran graduates numbered 64.

Commencement took place at the Grand Sierra Resort, and provided an additional 600 seats than were accessible at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center last year. Available seats totaled between 3,600-3,800, Winslow said. GSR, which has recently been remodeled, also offered a block of rooms at a discounted rate for families who have traveled from out of town to attend the ceremony.

A unique color guard, dignitaries, and student vocalists embellished the festivities

The VA Women Veterans Color Guard presented the colors. On the color guard is Elizabeth Baines, TMCC English Professor.

Nevada State Senator Debbie Smith attended TMCC’s commencement, as did six members of the 13 Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents. Regent and Vice Chairman Rick Trachok was one of the featured speakers.

Nicole Lee, December graduate with an English major, has been named Regents’ Scholar for the 2013-2014 academic year, and also addressed the gathering.

“In my speech, I mention Chris Winslow, who I knew from church and happened to run into my first day here,” Lee said. “He was with a group of students, handing out coffee. He walked me to my first class, which was nice because it was my first time on campus. He helped calm my nerves that first day and it was nice to have a friendly face to connect with.”

Faculty and an Alumna received honors at commencement:

  • Alicia Gardner, TMCC Alumna of the Year, is recognized for her commitment and service to TMCC and the Reno-Sparks community.
  • Erica Bein is honored as Nevada Regents’ Academic Advisor of the Year, an award which recognizes the top higher education advisement professional in the state.
  • Bridgett Blaque, Professor of English, accepted the Reno Gazette-Journal TMCC Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award.
  • John Molt, Program Director of the IT Enterprise Group, received the Model Dairy TMCC Faculty Excellence in Service Award.

Students in the Visual and Performing Arts department performed the National Anthem and "Go the Distance" during the ceremony. And, of course, graduates enjoyed their moment on stage in the spotlight to receive their gold-stamped diploma frame.

“I like that part of walking across the stage; to mark the moment,” Lee said.

Lee has a bit of advice for students taking part in commencement; some guidance to be kind to yourself and reflect.

“To remember this time, as graduates are going off in different directions … to be proud of this accomplishment,” Lee said.

At commencement’s conclusion, graduates recessed through a double-sided receiving line, where their professors surrounded them with congratulations, handshakes and warm wishes.

TMCC staff snapped pictures during the exercises, and the staff photos may be downloaded from the college website free of charge. DVDs are $10 and can be ordered at

For additional information about TMCC’s graduation ceremony, please visit the commencement Web pages.

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TMCC's Public Information Office
Telephone: 775-673-7087

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