Courtesy of Gavilan College:
On May 22, 2020, the Gavilan College graduating class of 2020 made history in several ways. As the college’s 100th graduating class, they have been making history all year, as their time at the college included numerous Centennial Celebrations and references. At 970 graduates earning 1540 degrees and certificates, they are also the largest graduating class in Gavilan College history.
The Class of 2020 also made history by missing out on the large, tradition-filled, outdoor celebration with their families in attendance that they had been anticipating, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Centennial Commencement Celebration had been planned all year as something very special. The Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, Eloy Oakley, had been scheduled to deliver the keynote address. Funds had been budgeted for the stage, sound system, and 5,000 chairs for attendees. As the Shelter-in-Place orders went into effect, and then continued, it became apparent that this would not be possible.
Students were surveyed to determine their preferences among a Virtual Ceremony, a delayed in-person ceremony, or some other option. They indicated a strong preference for the opportunity to wait, and walk across the stage in person.
The college is therefore planning delayed, and smaller commencement ceremonies tentatively scheduled to occur on campus from December 19 – December 21, 2020. A Virtual Pinning Ceremony was held for the graduates in the Registered Nursing program at the end of May. All graduates who return for the ceremony will receive a commemorative program, a Centennial diploma folio, and a Centennial graduation stole.
Superintendent / President Dr. Kathleen A. Rose sent a letter to the college community announcing the decision, and stating in part:
“lt is my promise to you, that we WLL host your graduation ceremony on the Gavilan College campus, and you will have the opportunity to cross the stage, receive your diploma, and mark this milestone with friends and family.”
Although no ceremony was held on May 22, 2020, the college did hold a Virtual End-of-Year Celebration which included special messages to the graduates, the scrolling of graduate names to the music of Pomp and Circumstance, and the announcement of awards.
In her opening remarks, Dr. Rose noted that COVID-19 was the SECOND pandemic event in the history of the college, which was founded as San Benito Junior College in 1919, during a flu pandemic..
The Gavilan College class of 2020, by the Numbers:
- 970 graduates
- 1540 degrees and certificates awarded, including
- 148 Associate of Science Degrees for Transfer (top major – Business Administration)
- 162 Associate of Science degrees (top major – Health Science)
- 148 Associate of Art Degrees for Transfer (top major – Psychology)
- 206 Associate Degrees (top major – Liberal Arts – Multiple Subjects)
- 719 Certificates of Achievement (top major – Intersegmental General Education Transfer Ccurriculum)
- 70 Certificates of Proficiency(top major – Nursing Assistant)
- 73 Noncredit Certificates of Completion (top major – English as a Second Language Advanced Level)
- 7 Awards of Achievement, Career Preparation
- 125 Police Academy graduates
- 18 Licensed Vocational Nutses
- 22 Registered Nurses
Recognition and Awards:
- Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society – Lifetime Membership
- Lyric Medrano
- Mikayla Gomez
- Victoria Zuniga
- Mariam Hernandez Mendoza
- Jesse Rodarte
- Transfer Student Award: Kashika Bharol, AA Liberal Arts – Business, AA Liberal Arts – Natural Science, AA Liberal Arts – Multiple Subjects
- Career Technical Education Award: Emmaclaudia Terraforte, AS Health Science
- Recognition of Achievement AwardL Mariam Hernandez, AS Biological Sicnece, AA Liberal Arts – Natural Science
- Outstanding Scholar Awards –
- Gavilan College Student: Matissa Meranda Miller, AA-T Psychology, 4.0 GPA
- GECA Student graduating from Gavilan College: Bettye Chargin, AA Liberal Arts – Multiple Subjects, 4.0 GPA
- Retiring Faculty and Staff
- Leah Halper, History
- Sandra Talavera, Financial Aid
- Margaret Bryson, Computer Science and Information Systems
- Russel Malley, Biology
- Duane Stewart, Groundskeeper
- Deborah Luoma, English
- Michale Cleary, Counselor
- Outgoing President, Associated Students of Gavilan College: MAriam Hernandez
- Signing Day Slideshow of students transferring to universities
A recent press release from the California Community Colleges relayed that, over the last two years, California Community Colleges have increased the number of students who earn college credentials by 20 percent – meeting one of six goals in the college system’s Vision for Success. In 2018-19 academic year, the number of students who earned a college credential at community colleges stood at 140,335, up from just under 117,000 from the previous year.