May 1, 2014


Public Invited to Graduation May 13

Northeast Alabama Community College’s forty-eighth graduation ceremony will take place at 7:00 pm, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, at the Northeast Alabama AgriBusiness Center on Highway 75 in Rainsville.

"Graduation is the highlight of the year for us," stated Dr. David Campbell, NACC President. "Completing their programs is what our students have worked toward, and it is so rewarding for our faculty and staff to see students reach this level of achievement.”

While far more students graduate with associate degrees from Northeast each year, this year over 226 will participate in the graduation ceremony. Another 140 graduates not participating will receive diplomas. Many of these Northeast graduates will transfer to universities to further their education and work toward obtaining higher degrees while others will go on to immediately begin work in their communities, make higher salaries, and advance in their careers.

Not only will graduates receive their diplomas on this special evening, but the college’s outstanding students and faculty member will be recognized as well. The All-Alabama Academic Team Members and the President’s Cup Recipient will be recognized, as well as the recipient of the Dr. Charles M. Pendley Founders’ Chair Award. The NACC Chorus and Brass Quintet will perform.

The keynote speaker this year is Rev. Dorsey Walker who serves as a United Methodist Clergy for congregations in rural North Alabama and was the Director of the Upper Sand Mountain Parish until his retirement in 2006.

“Having served United Methodist congregations on upper Sand Mountain for over forty years, I can readily bear witness to the impact of Northeast Alabama Community College for the development of personal and community resources among people and surrounding communities,” said Walker. “I have enjoyed marvelous relationships with college administrators, instructors and staff as I have looked to them for leadership and resourcing for community/church/school related activities.”

In the early 1990s, following Walker’s participation in an exploratory visit to rural Russia and Tajikistan, he contacted Northeast Alabama Community College seeking support for the enrollment of a young Tajik woman who had been provided little or no educational opportunities to women in her home Muslim country. “The college was overwhelmingly supportive in providing two years for her studies that prepared her to graduate from Birmingham Southern College and Columbia University to go on to work with United Nations programs to assist women in Muslim societies,” stated Walker.

“The rural Appalachian south has enjoyed a unique history marked with the strength of family ties and of their commitment to the land and ‘place’,” he continued. “As I reflect on the strengths and positive impact of change for the region (especially the Sand Mountain area) in my life time, alongside the improvement of highways/communication systems, the impact of Northeast Alabama Community Colleges stands in the forefront of development/empowerment and opportunity for people. I have been most impressed across the years as I have attended area high school honor days with the number of scholarships Northeast Alabama Community College has provided to area students.

NACC President Dr. David Campbell stated, “It is a great honor to Northeast to have Rev. Dorsey Walker speak at our graduation. He is an excellent example of someone who has given so much to our community through his service with so many worthy projects, particularly working with the Upper Sand Mountain Parish on hunger, homelessness, housing, and community crisis issues. We like to say to our graduates to be as successful as you can be in your jobs and careers and also along the way do those good deeds and works that provide help to others. Dorsey Walker is a perfect example of someone who has done that.”

Walker is a graduate of Athens State University and Chandler School of Theology/Emory University (M.Div. in Theology), has completed graduate study at the University of Kentucky, and has received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Birmingham Southern College.

Walker has participated in Rural Church/Cooperative Ministry Training and the Development of Communities of Shalom across the USA as well as Australia, England, Ireland, Russia, and Tajikistan. He is a consultant for the development of student led passive solar energy projects and gardening across the USA and beyond. He is a recipient of national and state energy awards. He also is co-founder of the Rural Chaplains Association with national recognition by Farm Journal magazine and other organizations supporting agriculture and rural life concerns. He is a recipient of the Louise Branscomb Barrier Breakers Award, St. Andrews Society Ending Hunger Award, and Athens State University Outstanding Alumnus Achievement in Arts and Science Award.

Walker is a native of North Alabama (Morgan County). He is married to Brenda Brown. They have two children, Christie Carson and Ken Walker, who are both graduates of Northeast Alabama Community College, and three granddaughters.

Last year's graduation

This ceremony is open to the public. All families and friends of Northeast graduates are invited and encouraged to attend this event. “Our college personnel put much work and effort into the graduation ceremony, and it is really a spectacular event to see,” added President Campbell. “We encourage everyone to attend.”

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