Spring graduation for Vol State is coming up on Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. It will be held in the Pickel Field House on the Gallatin campus. You must have a ticket to attend. The entire ceremony will be streamed online at www.volstate.edu/graduation. Each year we have viewers from across the country and around the world.
A community college graduation is really a celebration of lives. It’s a singular moment when we pause to recognize hard work and achievement. However, those efforts come in the context of your life, your experiences and your challenges. That fact isn’t lost on faculty and staff as we help you celebrate commencement.
Seth Walker is a 2016 graduate. He would be notable just for his 4.0 GPA, his leadership on campus and his sense of humor. But Seth accomplished his Vol State education with the challenge of a neurological condition called Cerebral Palsy. It impacts the ability of the brain to coordinate muscle movement. Seth can’t control his limbs and it is difficult for him to speak. He is in a wheelchair and has specialized high-tech equipment to use a computer. His constant campus companion is his assistant Ken Brassell.
We asked Seth a couple of questions leading up to graduation:
How does it feel to be graduating?
It seems surreal. I feel like I entered Vol State yesterday. However, at the same time, it is rewarding because I have worked so hard. It is another milestone in my life.
You have had to overcome many physical challenges along the way. Can you describe a few of those challenges and how you dealt with them?
Since I cannot use a regular mouse, I have to use an electronic HeadMouse to type my papers. This takes about twice as long as the normal student. I have to allow myself extra time to write papers. In addition, since I am unable to hold a book, I have to have special software to display my textbooks on the computer screen. It can also read the books to me.
Do you think overcoming those challenges helped to make you a stronger student?
Definitely because I know what it takes to go the extra mile to get the grade.
What are your plans for university and beyond to your career?
I will go to Lipscomb University in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communication. From there, I hope to pursue a seminary degree for a career in social media or writing ministry, but I will go wherever God leads.
We know you are still struggling with finals. But we congratulate all of you on your achievement and we look forward to spending a special Saturday morning with you.