On Saturday, May 11, Texas Southmost College (TSC) celebrated a remarkable day filled with joy, pride, and accomplishment as it hosted its Spring 2024 Commencement ceremonies. Held at the Jacob Brown Auditorium, the venue reached full capacity with attendees during three distinct ceremonies at 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m., each brimming with the excitement and anticipation of over 1,000 students ready to mark a significant transition in their lives.

The auditorium was filled with the cheers of family and friends, who came together to honor the graduates, 490 of whom were dual credit students from local school districts. These students, who earned their college degrees ahead of their high school diplomas, showcased the successful integration of high school and college education through TSC’s dual credit program. Their achievement is a testament to their exceptional dedication and the unique opportunities provided by TSC’s dual credit program. Graduates from Hanna, Lopez, Rivera, Porter, Veterans, Raymondville, San Benito Early College High Schools, Harlingen South High School, and Pace High School were among those celebrated for this dual accomplishment.

The 2:30 p.m. ceremony included dual-credit graduates from Brownsville, Rio Hondo, Pace, La Feria, Port Isabel Early College High School, Los Fresnos High School, and Jubilee Brownsville. 

Dr. Jesus H. Chavez, Texas Southmost College alumni and the keynote speaker for the event, extended his warmest congratulations to the students. “I want to congratulate you, the students, for completing your high school degree and obtaining your Associate of Arts simultaneously,” he expressed. His speech highlighted the dedication, perseverance, and persistence these students demonstrated, qualities he assured would serve them well as they pursue their bachelor’s degrees and beyond.

Dr. Chavez also made it a point to emphasize the invaluable support from the families and educators who played a pivotal role in reaching this day. “Now, students, you did this because of the unwavering support and assistance you received from your family and teachers. Please help me express our gratitude to your family and teachers for their continuous support. Parents, faculty, and staff, congratulations to you as well, and thank you for the support you have given these graduates. Your support has been instrumental in their success and we encourage you to continue supporting them in their future endeavors,” he stated, acknowledging the collective effort involved in each student’s journey.

In his address, Dr. Chavez shared inspiring stories of individuals from the Southmost area who have achieved great success, including Dr. Juan Sanchez, a renowned surgeon, and Juan Quintanilla, a successful entrepreneur. These stories not only celebrated past successes but also served as a reminder to the new graduates that they too can achieve great things with dedication and perseverance.

Adding to the day’s highlights, TSC president Dr. Jesus Roberto Rodriguez addressed the graduates with enthusiasm and pride at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony. “Class of 2024, Congratulations! You did it! You are here, crossing the finish line, becoming a college graduate. What makes it even more extraordinary is that you are earning an associate degree before you earn your high school diploma,” he remarked.

Dr. Rodriguez also noted the impressive growth of the dual enrollment program, stating, “Of the 1,052 students graduating from TSC this spring, 490 are dual enrollment students. Our dual enrollment cohorts keep growing and growing. In fact, your class represents a 66% percent increase, setting a new record for TSC.”

The Spring 2024 Commencement at Texas Southmost College was a celebration of personal achievement and a testament to the power of education and community support in shaping futures. As the ceremonies concluded, the graduates left with more than just diplomas; they carried with them the hope, encouragement, and inspiration needed to continue their educational and professional journeys. Congratulations to all the graduates, and here’s to the bright futures ahead!