Nearly 1,000 to graduate next month

Tech alumnus Beecher H. Hunter will speak during the Dec. 15 commencement when, according to preliminary numbers, approximately 925 students are expected to graduate.
“It didn’t really sink in, I guess, until a little later when I was thinking about the honor that had been extended,” Hunter said. “How many people who graduate from school have the opportunity years later to be invited to come back to speak at commencement? That number would be relatively small, and to be included in that is humbling but very much appreciated.”
Hunter graduated from Tech in 1961 with a degree in English and is currently the president of Life Care Centers of America, which is the third largest provider of long-term healthcare.
“We give the speakers a fair amount of leeway in what they speak about, but it’s generally something motivational or inspirational,” Debbie Combs, coordinator of special projects, said.
Hunter said he is still working on his speech.
“I think it’s going to be around the theme of ‘Now that you have graduated from a great university and are about to step out into the world or career and the rest of your life, what are some life lessons you’ll be learning?’ or something along that theme.”
As of Nov. 27, Tech anticipated 794 undergraduate students and 131 graduate students to get their degrees this fall.
The numbers included 111 master’s degrees: 48 College of Education, four College of Arts and Sciences, 33 College of Business, 16 College of Engineering, five College of Interdisciplinary Studies and five College of Nursing; 14 educational specialist degrees: four Educational Psychology, nine Curriculum and Instruction and one Instructional Leadership; and six doctorate degrees: two Environmental Sciences and four College of Engineering.
Numbers are subject to change after the Nov. 30 deadline for theses and dissertations and the Dec. 7 deadline, when grades of Incomplete must be changed to letter grades.  

The preliminary numbers from the graduation office listed the youngest graduate as 20 years old and the oldest as 60 years old.
Commencement will be at 10 a.m. Dec. 15 in the Hooper Eblen Center.