Graduation seals career training for Savannah Tech Auto Collision Repair student

Michael Thompson - ACR Graduate 2015

SAVANNAH – More than 375 Savannah Technical College degree and diploma students along with GED recipients will walk across the stage at the Johnny Mercer Theatre in the Savannah Civic Center for the college’s graduation ceremony at 6 p.m., on Tuesday, June 23 at the Johnny Mercer Theatre.

For Michael Thompson, who will be graduating with his diploma in Automotive Collision Repair, this year is the culmination of a journey that began in the 1980s when he first salvaged parts for a car damaged in an accident. He did such a careful job rebuilding his old Buick that when he took the car in to be painted, the shop owner suggested he might have a real future in collision repair and encouraged him to pursue it.

But Michael’s family had been in the construction business for many years. He and his brothers were second-generation in a well-respected local firm. Then in 2012, after years of cyclical layoffs and down times in construction, he began to think seriously about turning his longtime passion of auto bodywork into his livelihood. He later enrolled at Savannah Technical College and never looked back.

“Michael was an outstanding student – one of the best we’ve had in our program,” said STC’s Automotive Collision Repair Department Head Keith Padgett. “Because he was so knowledgeable and picked things up so quickly, other students often sought his assistance. He will be very successful.”

Michael has just opened M&M Paint and Body on East Gwinnett Street – a small shop, located in a non-descript building on the east side of Savannah. According to Michael, business is good and growing every day.

“I found that I enjoyed Auto Collision Repair courses and did really well – much better than when I was in school as a young man,” he said.

Savannah Technical College offers a diploma in Auto Collision Repair, as well as technical certificates of credit for auto collision repair and automotive refinishing. For more information about this and other Industrial Technology programs, contact Seceney Dorsey at


#1542 | June 19, 2015

Savannah Technical College serves Coastal Georgia with quality, market-driven technical education with campus locations in Chatham, Effingham and Liberty Counties. Serving more than 10,000 credit and non-credit students annually, Savannah Tech offers nearly 150 different instructional programs in Aviation Technology, Business and Professional Services, Industrial Technology, and Health Sciences in addition to Adult Education classes, industry-specific training and continuing education. The College serves as an economic and community development partner for the region, offering corporate and customized training and assessment programs for business and industry.

Savannah Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit. Questions about the accreditation of Savannah Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (