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BPCC graduates largest fall class ever, says goodbye to chancellor

Friday, December 12, 2014 will be a bittersweet day for Bossier Parish Community College.

As the College is set to mark the largest fallgraduating class on record, it will also say goodbye to its 5th chancellor, Dr. Jim Henderson.  Friday’s graduation ceremonies will be the last in which Henderson will preside over at BPCC.  On January 1, 2015, Henderson becomes the 18th president of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA.


“One of the personal joys for me is the validation of the work of the dedicated faculty and staff at BPCC,” says Henderson. “When a team builds a reputation for responsiveness and innovation, great things happen. Working alongside such world-class educators has truly been an incredible honor.”

Henderson leaves a long list of accomplishments at BPCC during his tenure:

  • The College grew from 4600 students in 2008 to more than 8600 in fall 2014 – including a record enrollment for six fall semesters in a row.
  • BPCC partnered with Benteler Steel/Tube and LED FastStart to open a $22M advanced manufacturing training center on campus. This flexible, world-class workspace houses BPCC’s oil and gas technology, engineering, construction, and manufacturing programs and allows workers to train at BPCC for jobs in the manufacturing, energy and construction sectors.
  • The school established a women’s basketball program.
  • BPCC was named the fastest growing community college in the nation in its category.
  • The College was named to the coveted Military Friendly Schools® list for 4 consecutive years for service to military personnel transitioning into civilian life.
  • The College established a global, award-winning initiative – BPCC Open Campus. This free, online, series of preparatory courses offers underprepared students a user-friendly, video-lecture based pathway to success in math, English, and reading comprehension.
  • BPCC created 2+2 articulation agreements with 4-year universities – allowing seamless transfer for students.

At its 68th fall graduation on Friday, BPCC will hold two ceremonies:

  • 9:30 a.m. – divisions of Technology, Engineering and Mathematics AND Science, Nursing and Allied Health
  • 2 p.m. – all other academic divisions

Both graduation ceremonies will be held in BPCC’s Health & Physical Education Complex, 6220 E. Texas St., Bossier City, LA.

Credentials will be awarded to 390 graduates, making this fall’s graduation the largest fall graduation on record. Fall 2013 awarded 377 graduates with credentials.

“Graduation is the most rewarding experience for those of us in education,” said Henderson. “We see first-hand the potential these students have and the challenges they overcome to realize that potential. Our future is bright because of the investment these graduates have made in themselves.”

In addition to this being the largest fall graduation in the College’s 47-year history, Friday’s ceremonies will also include the following:

  • Graduates who have served in the U.S. Armed Services will be wearing red, white and blue honor cords, a new addition to the graduation ceremonies.  Barksdale Federal Credit Union generously sponsored these U.S. Armed Forces Services honor cords.

“Barksdale Federal Credit Union is proud to support the efforts of BPCC in honoring the achievements of our service men and women,” says Patrick B. Gullatt, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at Barksdale Federal Credit Union.  “Our veterans have sacrificially served the country and sponsoring this program is just a small token of the appreciation we have for them.

  • This will also be the first graduation honoring graduates of the newly-formed English honor society — the Zeta Beta Chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta. Sigma Kappa Delta is the English Honor Society for two-year colleges. It was founded in 1996 at Cottey College.  The society strives to confer distinction for high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate studies.  With more than 100 active chapters located in the United States, approximately 2500 members are inducted annually.  These chapters provide cultural stimulation on college campuses and promote interest in literature and the English language in surrounding communities.  In order to be invited into the society, students must have completed at least 12 hours successfully, maintained an overall GPA of 3.0, and taken at least one English class which they finished with a ‘B’ or better.
  • The BPCC Facebook page will have live updates from graduation, allowing BPCC graduates to give their friends and family who can’t make it to graduation a way to see the graduation ceremony.
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