Another event-packed year of creating “Contributing, Participating Members of Society” culminated in the graduation of Tennessee School for the Blind’s Photo of 2017 Graduates with bell tower in backgroundClass of 2017. The commencement exercises, held Friday, May 26, 2017 in the school’s newly lit auditorium, were quite the sight to witness. Amidst the excitement generated by friends and family, one could see the anxiousness of the graduates to be numbered among the school’s alumni. The awaiting audience viewed a video catalog of each graduate’s progress through life. It displayed photos of students as babies and

toddlers, previous graduations and as grade school children. One could sense that past accomplishments and achievements all seemed to be leading up to these moments.

When the sound of Pomp and Circumstance filled the air, the seniors meeting graduation requirements walked alone down the center aisle. The commencement exercise went as follows:

Songs sung by TSB Chorus- “In My Life” (Lyrics and Music by John Lennon & Paul McCartney), and “May the Road Rise Up” (Lyrics and Music by Jay Rouse)

Opening Remarks- Ms. Theresa Nicholls, Assistant Commissioner of Special Populations and Student Support

Farewell Address- Valedictorian Marcus Johnson

Holmes Award- Ms. Debbie Propst, President, Alumni Association 

Frank DePriest Award- presented by Mr. Jim Oldham, President, FTSB Inc.

Introduction of Speaker- Dr. Kathryn Segers, Interim Superintendent

Class Address- Ms. Mary Nelle McLennan, AER Representative to the Braille Authority of North America

Presentation of Seniors- Dr. Tonja Dandy, Director of Instruction

Presentation of Diplomas- Dr. Kathryn Segers, Interim Superintendent

The Bell Tolls- ringing of the tower bell by Mr. Lamont Bassham, TSB Alumnus

Recessional- Pomp and Circumstance by Elgar

Marking milestones and starting new beginnings are a way of affirming who we are and who we look forward to becoming. Times like these create a moment to pause, reflect, and express gratitude to the tremendous number of people who shape the very fabric of our character. Congratulations to the TSB Class of 2017 and to all of you who have given of yourselves to bring about this milestone.