Presiding over his last commencement ceremonies, retiring Tennessee Tech University President Bob Bell handed degrees to 1,271 graduates during spring ceremonies including sixteen from DeKalb County.
Local graduates from Tech include Lacey Racquel Beshearse, Samantha Hope Cox, Daniel Ryan Foutch, Justin Ryan Lattimore, Kelly N. Merriman, Megan N. Pack, Candice Serena Powell, Daniel A. Seber, Heather Danielle Shehane, Ashleigh Dawn Snow, Ashlee Nichole Thomason, Hollis Lee VanWinkle, Geraldine Anna Wilson, Tyler James Woods, Chistopher R. Young, and Sara Lee Young.
Hailing from 75 Tennessee counties, 31 states and 14 other countries, TTU's most recent graduates joined the ranks of nearly 73,400 university alumni.
Part of the Tennessee Board of Regents system, TTU offers more than 40 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs, as well as doctoral programs in engineering, education and environmental sciences.
Local and state officials and family members of the late PFC Billy Gene Anderson, U.S. Army will gather at Dry Creek Bridge on Highway 70 Thursday for a memorial dedication to the local fallen hero, who lost his life in May 2010 while serving in Afghanistan.
The dedication of the "PFC Billy Gene Anderson Memorial Bridge" will be at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 14 on the east end of the bridge spanning Dry Creek, on the north side of U.S. 70 at Dowelltown.
Family of PFC Anderson, DeKalb County Mayor Mike Foster, State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, State Senator Mae Beavers, and Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Assistant Commissioner Donald Smith are expected to attend.
The dedication of the bridge is in recognition of the life of valor and death in combat of PFC Anderson.
The county commission, in March, adopted a resolution asking the Tennessee General Assembly to name the bridge over Dry Creek on Highway 70 in honor of PFC Anderson, United States Army.
The resolution states "Whereas, it is fitting that the DeKalb County Commission honor residents of DeKalb County who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Whereas, the late Private First Class Billy Gene Anderson, United State Army, made that sacrifice for his country on May 17, 2010 while serving in Afghanistan and
Whereas, PFC Billy Gene Anderson served with courage, giving his life for his country and the beliefs he held. He deserves proper recognition for his service as a proud representative of the United States Army, and the greatest sacrifice anyone can make.
Whereas, PFC Billy Gene Anderson selfishly gave his life while serving his country and it is appropriate that we ask the Tennessee General Assembly to honor his memory by naming the Bridge over Dry Creek on Highway 70 as a lasting monument to him.
Now therefore Be it enacted by DeKalb County Commission that the Tennessee General Assembly be asked to name the Dry Creek Bridge the PFC Billy Gene Anderson Memorial Bridge and signs be erected and maintained to permanently honor the memory of PFC Billy Gene Anderson"
The bill was introduced in the State House by Representative Terri Lynn Weaver and in the State Senate by Senator Mae Beavers. The bill passed both chambers and was signed by the Governor on April 26.