Northeast Alabama Community College’s 52nd graduation ceremony will take place at 7 PM, Thursday, May 17, 2018, at the Northeast Alabama AgriBusiness Center on Highway 75 in Rainsville. The keynote speaker this year is Mr. Jimmy H. Baker, Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System.
Mr. Baker is a native of Coffee County, Alabama. He attended high school in New Brockton, and later earned a BS degree in Business Administration from Troy University. He earned a graduate degree in Economics and Education Administration and an Education Specialist degree from Auburn University, where he was also certified in school administration. He served for six years in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Professionally, he has taught history and social studies at the high school level; coached football and basketball at Daleville High School; served as Assistant Superintendent, and Superintendent of Education for the Daleville Board of Education; and Superintendent of the Coffee County Board of Education. In 1979, he was appointed to serve as the State of Alabama’s Assistant State Superintendent of Education of Finance, and served in that role for four years.
After serving as president of an investment banking firm, Mr. Baker managed the gubernatorial campaign for Governor Fob James. He was appointed as State Finance Director from 1994-95, where he developed and assisted in the passage of the funding formula known as the Foundation Program. Later, he was appointed as Deputy State Superintendent of Education to implement the new funding program. He returned to the Finance Department as Director during Gov. James’ administration, after successful implementation of the program.
Throughout his career, he has been instrumental in the development of partnerships with businesses including medical evacuation, real estate development and governmental affairs. As an educator, he has chaired and served on numerous committees including the Alabama Textbook Committee, the State Tenure Commission, and the Alabama Association of School Administrators.
After joining the Alabama Community College System, first serving as governmental affairs consultant, he was appointed Chief of Staff in January 2016. Mr. Baker was appointed as acting chancellor of the Alabama Community College System in August of 2016. On March 15, 2017, he was named Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System.
He is married to Joy, a retired teacher, and they are the parents of two daughters and proud grandparents to four grandchildren.
While far more students graduate with associate degrees from Northeast each year, this year over 212 will participate in the graduation ceremony. Another 367 graduates (including summer 2017, fall 2017, and spring 2018) not participating will receive degrees. Many of these Northeast graduates have or will transfer to universities to further their education and work toward obtaining higher degrees while others will go on to immediately begin work, make higher salaries, and advance in their careers.
"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.”
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 Concert Band will perform.
This graduation 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.”
For more information about this event, go to www.nacc.edu or download our free Mobile App at the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.