Gavilan College will award 1,122 degrees and certificates to graduating students at the annual commencement ceremony Friday at 6 p.m. The afternoon starts with a procession of graduates walking from the Arts Quad, along Sycamore Lane, over the bridge, and into the gymnasium, where they are greeted by family and faculty.
The national anthem, performed by Gavilan College student Mike Rock, followed by welcoming remarks from Gavilan College President Kathleen A. Rose. Instructor Ken Wagman, President of the Gavilan College Faculty Association will present Faculty Scholarships, and instructor Jennifer Nari will induct the new lifetime members of the Rho Alpha Mu Honor Society.
The Keynote Speaker is Gavilan alumnus Danielle Rhinehart, who has worked in music promotion, helping up-and-coming artists find a foothold in the industry.
For five years she organized the artists for the Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras. She earned her AA in Liberal Arts at Gavilan and went on to get her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Communication Studies from San Francisco State University.
She was recently published in the New York Times bestseller, Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. The book is a collection of essays that tell the stories of people who were inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel.
Board of Trustees President Laura Perry will confer the Honorary Degree for community member Cecelia Ponzini. Ponzini has served on the United Way South County Council, has been a member of the El Toro Community Advisory Board, represented the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce as an Ambassador, and is a member of the Morgan Hill Kiwanis Club.
In 2013 she co-founded the Edward (Boss) Prado Foundation with her husband, in honor of her son. Edward. In 2014 they opened Cecilia’s Closet and Food Pantry, providing clothing, food, and supplies to the needy in Morgan Hill.
Dr. Michele Bresso, Vice President of Instruction will present the Outstanding Scholar Awards, one to TJ Owens Early College Academy and Gavilan College student Rayleene Miranda, and one to Gavilan College student Andy Christian Tan.
Dr. Bresso will then present the candidates for graduation to the Board of Trustees. The names of all candidates will be read aloud by Faculty of the Year Mari Garcia and Part-Time Faculty of the Year Meredith Hurley, as the graduates cross the stage to receive their diplomas. The ceremony ends with the conferring of degrees by Dr. Rose, marked by the traditional move of the tassel on each graduate’s mortarboard from right to left.
Admission is by invitation only, however the ceremony will be live-streamed at gavilan.edu/tv, and there will be overflow viewing for non-ticket holders in the Music Hall on the Gavilan College campus.
Gavilan College Graduation by the numbers:
1249 degrees and certificates will be presented
270 Associate in Arts (AA) degrees
83 Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T)
145 Associate in Science (AS) degrees
98 Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T)
Some students have earned more than one degree or certificate.