Graduation Can’t Wait!by Jan Janes on Jun 12, 2021
Two weeks after what would traditionally have been an in-person, family packed celebration of more than five thousand people, Gavilan College rolled out a drive-through graduation diploma event. The diploma and certificate event took months in planning and met health department requirements.
“Although our commencement celebrations this year include virtual and drive through events, we recognize the extraordinary class of 2021 for their resiliency, persistence and courage,” said Dr. Kathleen Rose, Superintendent/President of Gavilan College.
“My congratulations go out to each of our graduates, we are so proud of you!”
On Friday, Jun 11, more than 25% of the graduates of Class of 2021 showed up with their families and friends to wear regalia, decorate their mortarboards, and celebrate graduation in person.
Students registered online for one of eight time slots between 9 am and 12:30 pm. Staggered in blocks of 50 students each, the format allowed nominal wait time for students to received their diploma covers and honors cords, don regalia and have an opportunity to be photographed with Dr. Kathleen Rose and a member of the Board of Trustees then, separately, with family members.
Students checked in with Gavilan Security at the South gate, then circled along the upper campus road to Parking Lot A, where the festivities awaited.
Staff from Student Life and Admissions and Records greeted them first.
The check-in complete, graduates receive their diploma holders and honors cords – two for this car! Students earning 3.5 GPA or above in the final two semesters wear gold cords signifying their outstanding scholarship achievement.
At the next stop, the leaders from Associated Students of Gavilan College (ASGC) greeted them with signs and bubbles.
ASGC gave all students a swag bag - their choice of blue or red - filled with everything a graduating and transfer student would need.
Following the check-in and swag bag gifting, exuberant parking guide volunteers directed them to easy in-and-out reserved parking spots.
Superintendent/President Kathleen Rose, left, and Trustee Jeanie Wallace, right, chat with a graduating student. After donning caps and gowns, draping sashes and cords, graduates were able to pose for official portraits with Dr. Rose and a member of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Rose and the trustees took time to speak with each graduate about their time at Gavilan College and their plans for the future. Five of the seven trustees – Edwin Diaz, Irma C. González, Rachel Perez, Laura Perry and Jeanie Wallace – attended the ceremony.
After the official portrait photograph with the Gavilan College president, students celebrated their accomplishments.
Students celebrated their achievements with families, especially their parents.
Students celebrating were joined by spouses and significant others.
Students celebrated with their multi-generational families.
Students from special programs such as the Puente Project celebrated with their families.
Students celebrated with decorated mortarboards. Here, Ryan Shook captures a photo of an elegant, inspirational cap.
The Graduation Committee is comprised of dedicated Gavilan College staff across all departments. And it wouldn’t be a graduation ceremony without college mascot Rocky the Ram. Instrumental to the graduation celebrations for Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 are Executive Assistant of Student Services Grace Cardinalli and Student Life Coordinator Ryan Shook, for the success of the Virtual Graduation and the drive-through diploma bestowal.
“They did it! And we did it!” Pictured celebrating the graduates from the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021, these are the Graduation Committee volunteers who made the drive-through diploma ceremony possible.
The Graduation Committee includes: Denee Pescarmona, Kathleen Rose, Blanca Arteaga, Jan Bernstein-Chargin, Grace Cardinalli, Susie Chris, David Farmer, Sonia Flores, Jeronimo Garcia, Jeff Gopp, Laura Howerton, Sydney La Rose, Jane Maringer, Veronica Martinez, Shawn Mulcare, Noemi Naranjo, Rebecca Plaza, Ryan Shook, Carla Velarde-Barros, Candice Whitney.
You can view the May 28 virtual graduation event here.