Faculty/Staff Panel

Student Panel


Student Panel
Faculty/Staff Panel
Snead State Community College Celebrates 125th Anniversary at Annual Spring Commencement

A pinnacle in Snead State Community College’s 125th Anniversary Celebration was the 2023 Spring Commencement, honoring 179 out of 201 graduates participating in the ceremony on Thursday, May 4.

The College already recognized 22 graduates at special ceremonies on May 2 for members of the Baseball and Softball Teams, who were unable to attend due to playing in away games.

Snead State President Dr. Joe Whitmore addressed the graduates with what he described as “not a typical Commencement address.”

“I feel I owe you an apology. To be more clear, I think my generation owes your generation an apology. Many years ago, I sat where you’re sitting. I had the opportunity to embark into a world that was much different than the world you’re facing. I’m a member of the Baby Boomer generation, and I was entering into a world that was influenced by what has been called ‘the greatest generation.’ That’s the generation that fought World Wars, that survived the Great Depression, and that lived by a moral code, a moral authority, and they feared and honored God. Because of them, my generation inherited a fine economy, a strong national defense, an impactful education system, endless job opportunities, record industrial and commercial growth, and a strong dedication to family and moral values.

“Unfortunately that’s not the case today…Now our economy is shrinking. Inflation is out of control, wages are stagnant, the unemployment rate nationally is surging, and morality and responsibility seem to be fading more and more each year. And here’s the scariest part to me. Studies by social scientists are saying that at this time our country is more polarized than at any time in our country’s history since the Civil War.

“In order for you to be successful, this societal decline has got to stop…It’s going to be up to you to facilitate change. It’s going to be up to you to return us to that greatness that came from my father’s generation. What made the ‘greatest generation’ great? Well, I think I can answer that if you’ll let me take a few minutes to tell you about my dad.”

Dr. Whitmore shared about his father, one of 12 children born into a sharecropper’s family.

“It’s from this six-grade-educated man that I learned four of the most important life lessons that made his generation great. No. 1, never ask someone to do something that you are not willing to do yourself. Have a servant’s spirit. The second thing I remember him saying to me often is ‘Son, I would rather be an hour early than a minute late.’ What he was teaching me was to be dependable. He was teaching me to be reliable and trustworthy. Do what you say you’re going to do even if it means you have to sacrifice.

“The third thing he would say is ‘Son, if you’re going to do a job, you’d better do it right.’ So don’t settle for mediocrity. Being average is not your goal. Shoot for the stars and do your very best every day. Don’t let your environment and the people around you decide who you are. And finally, No. 4, my dad would say, ‘Son, don’t be afraid to fail because if you don’t fail every now and again, you’re just not trying hard enough.’ Sometimes you need to feel pain and the sting of defeat to activate the real passion that’s inside of you, to find that purpose that God has placed in your life…It is better for you to find purpose than to find prosperity. Your failures are only meant to shape your purpose.

“Finally, wherever you go, whatever you do, never leave God out of the equation. Put God first in everything you do. Press on to your purpose, and thank God for all he’s done for you,” said Dr. Whitmore.

Thursday’s ceremony was a time to recognize student achievement among the graduates.

Carter James Frederick of Chelsea received the Civitan Best All-Around Student Award. Frederick was recognized in the Parson Baseball Ceremony on May 2. The Civitan Award is presented annually to the Best All-Around Student of the graduating class. To be eligible for this award, the student must have attended Snead State Community College for at least three semesters and attained a minimum cumulative academic average of 3.0 on a four-point scale. In addition, the student should have participated in extracurricular and community activities. The student is elected by a vote of the faculty from a list of eligible graduates who are participating in the graduation ceremonies.

Cindy Liliana Guerrero of Boaz received the James B. Allen Award during the Spring Commencement Ceremony at Snead State Community College on May 4. The award was presented by Snead State Vice President for Student Services Jason Cannon, left.

Cindy Liliana Guerrero of Boaz was awarded the James B. Allen Award. The award is presented annually to the Outstanding Student of the graduating class, but this year both students were chosen. This award is a gift of the late James B. Allen, United States Senator from Alabama. To be eligible for this award, the student must have exhibited outstanding qualities of leadership and service, attained a minimum cumulative academic average of 3.5, and attended Snead State Community College for at least three semesters. Recipients are elected by a vote of the faculty from a list of eligible graduates participating in the Spring ceremony.

Amber Jacqueline Lopez of Horton and Marisol Acelin Ramos Lopez of Albertville were recognized as this year’s members of the All-Alabama Academic Team. The All-Alabama Scholarship program is a complement to the All-USA National Academic Team Program, which is sponsored by USA Today, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and the American Association of Community Colleges.

The President’s Award is presented annually to the full-time sophomore student in both the Academic Division, Technical Division, and, for the first time this year, the Dual Enrollment Program with the highest-grade point average on the greatest number of credit hours completed at Snead State. For the technical division, the 2023 President’s Award was presented to James David Sledd of Hartselle. For the academic division, the 2023 President’s Award was given to Anna Laura Chavez Munoz of Albertville. The 2023 President’s Award for Dual Enrollment was presented to Maddux William Patterson of Boaz.

Patterson was also one of four graduates who were recognized as Dual Enrollment students receiving their Associate degree before graduating from their respective high schools. Patterson and Eli Andrew Martinez are also graduating from Boaz High School this spring. Sydney Nannette Kirkpatrick is also graduating from Sardis High School, and Judah Owen Ewers is also graduating from the Albertville Pathways Academy homeschool.

Student recognitions continued when Snead State Executive Project Director of Workforce Enhancement Dr. Greg Randall recognized two students in the Registered Apprenticeship Program to graduate – Jake Knighten of Boaz and Maria Felix of Crossville. The Registered Apprenticeship Program was developed the program in 2019 for students pursuing an Industrial Systems Technology pathway to earn experience in a competitive field at a competitive wage while attending college. Both students served as apprentices with Atrion Medical in Arab.

SGA Vice President Edwin Jarquin-Perez of Albertville gave the invocation, and Ambassador President Riley McGee of Boaz gave a benediction before the graduates exited the gym in a recessional, ending this year’s Commencement Ceremony. The Jazz Band and the College Street Singers also performed during the ceremony.