ISTC commencement speakers share importance of second chances

May 21, 2018

The value of a second chance in life was the message former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb and Alabama State University President Dr. Quinton Ross shared with Ingram State Technical College graduates during commencement ceremonies last week.

Family and friends gathered at the ISTC Draper instructional site to honor the accomplishments of 177 graduates over two days. ISTC interim president Annette Funderburk commended the graduates on their accomplishments, which included 124 certificates awarded by the Alabama Community College System in 18 career technical programs of study; 43 GEDs and 10 high school diplomas. Two of the diploma recipients – Alesia Cain and Jeffery Dockins – earned their award through the statewide High School Diploma Option program which helps qualified students enroll in adult education programs and earn a high school diploma in lieu of a GED.

Justice Cobb shared her experiences as the first woman to serve as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, and encouraged graduates to take full advantage of life’s second chances as they moved past incarceration into their future lives. Ross reminded the graduates that “everyone has a history” and complimented the men for possessing “SWAG - students with ambitious goals”.

The festivities also included presentations by the winners of the 2018 student Oratorical and Visual Arts completion. Natasha Jones-Chain and Eric Shealey described the graduates as “success stories  in the making” and reminded them of the ISTC goal of “building responsible citizens”. Click here to download OVAC winner Eric Shealey’s presentation.

Ingram State Technical College serves a 100 percent incarcerated adult population. An accredited member of the Alabama Community College System, ISTC delivers career technical, GED, and job skills training at six locations across Alabama.


Cover photo: ISTC interim president Annette Funderburk congratulates HVAC graduate Derek Deakles during commencement ceremonies May 17. Deakles was one of 177 ISTC graduates honored earlier this month.

Inside photo: Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb talks with ISTC graduates before the start of commencement ceremonies May 15. Cobb was the days' featured speaker, encouraging graduates to take full advantage of life's second chances as they move past incarceration into their future lives.