Regent Stites Is Chattanooga State TCAT Commencement Speaker

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology will hold its commencement exercises on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. The event, previously held on campus, was moved to the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Auditorium to accommodate the large number of graduates and their guests.
Technical diplomas include the following disciplines: air conditioning and refrigeration, automotive technology, collision repair, computer operations technology, cosmetology, diesel equipment mechanics, industrial electricity, industrial electronics, industrial maintenance, landscape and turf management, machine tool technology, massage therapy, mechatronics technology, medical assistant, motorcycle and marine engine service technology, practical nursing, surgical technology, and welding.

Technical certificates include aesthetics, cosmetology instructor training, and manicurist.

In addition to the awarding of diplomas and certificates, SkillsUSA students who participated and placed in the state and national competitions and National Technical Honor Society students will be recognized, as well as retiring faculty. For the first time, Veterans also will be recognized with red, white and blue cords.

Regent John D. Stites, II, Tennessee Board of Regents, will deliver the commencement address. Mr. Stites is the chief executive officer of J&S Construction Company, Inc. a commercial, industrial and institutional construction firm providing design and construction services in six states. Mr. Stites is a founding member and past president of the Home Builders Association of the Upper Cumberland; founding member and past president of Putnam County Family YMCA; founding member and past president of Cookeville Breakfast Rotary Club; selected as a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary International; served on President’s Advisory Councils at Stran Buildings, Varco-Pruden Buildings and American Buildings Company; and was chairman of the President’s Advisory Council at Stran.

He has served over 17 years with the Associated General Contractors and has held several offices with the Middle Tennessee Branch. Mr. Stites received AGC’s most coveted award, the SIR Award, the construction lifetime achievement award at the 2013 Build Tennessee Awards Program. The SIR Award is reserved for someone who has made a substantial contribution, while honorably serving the construction industry while exemplifying Skill, Integrity and Responsibility in his or her construction endeavors.

Mr. Stites was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Citation from his alma mater, Abilene Christian University, and served on its Board of Trustees for sixteen years. Mr. Stites earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Abilene Christian University and upon graduation, entered the United States Navy, where he was a lieutenant during the Vietnam conflict (1968-1971). He is married to Rosemary Tillman Stites and they have four children and fourteen grandchildren.

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