BAYTOWN, TX — Texas State Rep. John Zerwas advised the more than 600 graduates who received associate degrees and certificates at the 2016 Lee College spring commencement ceremonies to never underestimate the value of the gift of knowledge they had been given.
“Knowledge gives you the unique advantage to control your own destiny,” said Zerwas, who delivered the keynote address at both the 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. graduations held Saturday, May 14, in the Sports Arena on campus. “Graduates from this institution are highly sought for this very reason, and you should be confident in knowing that your time at Lee College has contributed to the will, capacity and character that will allow you to rally others toward a common purpose and vision.”
Now in his fifth term as the representative for fast-growing Texas House District 28, Zerwas is also in his first term as chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education. He noted the importance of community college education throughout the state, and cited Lee College as a shining example of the instrumental role that two-year colleges play in preparing students to enter the workforce or succeed at a four-year university.
“The state of Texas is going to expect great things from you,” Zerwas said. “Be prepared to build upon this gift of knowledge, such that the certain changes that will occur in your future don’t leave you behind in a cloak of self-righteousness. Graduates from Lee College will have a legacy of impacting humanity through their chosen professions, but also through a passion for benevolence and generosity. You are joining an exclusive group of individuals who will make this place much better for generations to come.”
Among the graduates who walked across the stage at commencement to receive their degrees and certificates were nearly 50 students from IMPACT Early College High School, where students have the opportunity to earn a high-school diploma and 60 hours of college credit simultaneously. The IMPACT Class of 2016 is the third to participate in Lee College commencement since the partnership between the college and Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District began.
“Graduation is never the end; it is only the beginning of the next steps you will take in your lives,” said Lee College Pres. Dr. Dennis Brown, reminding graduates that their achievement has made them role models for others to follow. “Your education is yours forever, and it will serve you well. Congratulations for having the fortitude and the desire to better yourselves, better your families and move out into the world to do what you do best.”
Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.