While some students just returned to school this week for the start of their 2019-20 school year, 40 students from Marshall’s Texas State Technical College donned their caps and gowns to participate in the summer commencement ceremony Friday at Wiley College.

The Wiley College chapel was filled with family and friends of the graduates as they gathered to congratulate the students for their hard work.

The ceremony served as TSTC Marshall’s 70th commencement exercise since the college began operating in Marshall in 1992. Since that time, the college has graduated 3,473 students.

Marshall Economic Development Corp. Director of Business Services Rush Harris was on hand to serve as the guest speaker.

“What you have are the building blocks, critical thinking skills and the basic tools to build your professional life,” Harris said. “Use them to advance yourself.

“Take the opportunity to learn new skills when they come and help others find these opportunities too, you’ll be stronger for it.”

Harris outlined three pieces of advice for the graduates going forward.

“Know yourself, challenge yourself and never stop learning,” he said. “TSTC is not the average college and you are not average graduates. This school and your degrees are different from traditional post graduate degrees. You’ve learned and will continue to learn advanced technical skills.

“Your education and dedication combined with the demand from employers results in very positive outcomes for you graduates,” he continued. “If you stay committed, the future favors you.”