HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Wallace State student Rodney Lubert has worked previously as a quality control car technician and also remodeled homes.

Lubert, 50, is now a Wallace State freshman, enrolled in the college’s Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC) program. Lubert’s daughter, Jessilyn, and son, Cameron, are also Wallace State students. Jessilyn is approaching the end of her journey in the Wallace State nursing program and Cameron is majoring in computer science.

“I’ve done a lot of things in the past and this program just interested me a lot. I know Wallace State has a great reputation,” said Lubert, a Fairview resident. “It is strange being here with all of these young people around, but I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Lubert and Neydy Torres, 18, are among a host of Wallace State newcomers getting settled into fall semester classes along with the college’s returning sophomores.

“Being from Hanceville, I’ve always heard how good this college is, and it’s also nice that it’s at home for me,” said Torres, a Hanceville High grad. “I was a little nervous in my first few classes. It’s different than high school because you don’t know anyone yet.”

This semester is also significant because it marks the beginning of Wallace State’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Since Wallace State opened its doors a half century ago, the college has grown to serve as the fourth-largest college in the Alabama Community College System, serving as a virtual powerhouse in educational programming with a wide variety of majors leading to degree, certificate and transfer opportunities. The college has grown from offering 10 initial majors to well over 150 options for student credentials.

Wallace State is one of the top ranked community colleges in America, according to Aspen Institute, Community College Week and others. Wallace State is the first choice for Alabama high schools seniors taking the ACT and the college has the best record of successful student completion in the Alabama Community College System.

“As we reflect on our past 50 years and all of the events and growth leading to this milestone, we have much to be proud of.  From the first class of less than 60 students in 1965 to the Fall 2015 class of 5,500, our enrollment growth has been nothing short of phenomenal,” said Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics, who became the college’s president in 2003. “It is exciting to see the expectant looks on the faces of our freshman class and to anticipate what the next 10, 25, or 50 years holds for them as a result of an educational journey begun at Wallace-Hanceville.”

Wallace State has a number of events and initiatives planned through Sept. 2016 in recognition of the college’s 50th anniversary, including a 50th anniversary float in both the Cullman County Fair and Christmas parades, a Community and Business Partners breakfast, a campus-wide day of giving, an outdoor music festival, a Dinner Under the Stars, the re-establishment of the Wallace State Athletics Hall of Fame and many other giveaways and special events.

Wallace State will also be highlighting alumni and success stories on its website and through press releases throughout the anniversary celebration.

Wallace State continues to search for new educational opportunities for its students. Recently added programs at Wallace State include Sustainable Agriculture, Patient Care Specialist and Transportation Management. Wallace State is beginning its third academic year of offering both associate in science and associate in arts degrees fully online.

For the seventh consecutive year, Wallace State employees and students are participating in a campus-wide initiative, called the Common Read project. This year’s selection is “Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard” by Liz Murray. Wallace State will have the privilege of visiting with Murray via Skype on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 9:30 a.m. in the Burrow Center, and a Q&A session will follow.

Wallace State athletics begins a new campaign on Saturday as the six-time defending conference-champion volleyball team opens the 2015 season in Wisconsin. Wallace State’s first conference match is Sept. 2 at Southern Union and the home and conference opener is Sept. 16 vs. Gadsden State.

Wallace State’s women’s golf team also begins its inaugural season this fall.

For more information about Wallace State, visit wallacestate.edu.

Wallace State math instructor Dr. Lance Boyd discusses his expectations and goals with his MTH 116 students during the first week of fall semester classes.

Wallace State math instructor Dr. Lance Boyd discusses his expectations and goals with his MTH 116 students during the first week of fall semester classes.

Wallace State employees Teresa Gibbs, left, and Theresa Mahler assist students at the Lion Central desk during the first day of fall classes. Lion Central, located in the lobby of the James C. Bailey Center, is Wallace State’s one-stop office for financial, admissions and other enrollment needs.

Wallace State employees Teresa Gibbs, left, and Theresa Mahler assist students at the Lion Central desk during the first day of fall classes. Lion Central, located in the lobby of the James C. Bailey Center, is Wallace State’s one-stop office for financial, admissions and other enrollment needs.

Wallace State math instructor Dr. Lance Boyd discusses his expectations and goals with his MTH 116 students during the first week of fall semester classes.

Wallace State math instructor Dr. Lance Boyd discusses his expectations and goals with his MTH 116 students during the first week of fall semester classes.

Wallace State Vice President Dr. Tomesa Smith, right, assists a student at the Bailey Center during the first day of fall classes.

Wallace State Vice President Dr. Tomesa Smith, right, assists a student at the Bailey Center during the first day of fall classes.

Wallace State's campus.

Wallace State’s campus.

Wallace State’s Jennifer Hill, Assistant Dean and of Enrollment Management, chats with a student during the first day of fall semester classes.

Wallace State’s Jennifer Hill, Assistant Dean and of Enrollment Management, chats with a student during the first day of fall semester classes.

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Russell Moore

Staff Writer

Wallace State Community College

P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077

1-866-350-9722    256-352-8443 direct

Visit us online at www.wallacestate.edu

 

Kristen Holmes
Communications & Marketing Director, and

Administrator, The Evelyn Burrow Museum

Wallace State Community College

801 Main Street NW | Hanceville, AL 35077
E-mail: kristen.holmes@wallacestate.edu
Office: 256.352.8118 | Cell: 256.339.2519 | Toll Free: 866.350.9722