Courtesy of Gavilan College President Dr. Kathleen Rose:
Glorious May! The end of the semester celebrations, the college in bloom, finals, scholarships, appreciations ceremonies, farewells, new beginnings, caps and gowns…there are many notable ways to mark the end of a successful semester and prepare for the summer months ahead at Gavilan College.
Notable happenings in May include Super Saturday that served more than 200 students for registration and counseling services with students, faculty and program information available in our beautiful courtyards and labs.
A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream completes its run on Mother’s Day weekend and what a production it is with our wonderful theater arts majors and ornate costumes designed by our own Dr. Johan Lawton-Haehl.
The Puente celebration highlighted all of the transfer students, the writing skills of this year’s class, and the community mentors who have worked with the “Puentistas” throughout the year. A special tribute was given to Celia Marquez, our beloved counselor who has led the Puente program at Gavilan for more than two decades with integrity, spirit and love.
On May 10 the Food Pantry celebrated the services provided to our students…in 2018 so far 89 students have participated in the Fresh Success program, and 4,337 have received food from the food pantry. I am so proud of the work of our staff and volunteers in providing this integral service because as we recently learned: 52% of community college students have experienced food insecurity in the last 30 days, 13% of community college students have experienced homelessness in the past year, and 39% of housing insecure students at community colleges also reported symptoms of depression. Gavilan is responding to this need through our mental health services and although there is more work to be done, we are actively seeking solutions.
I look forward to seeing many of you at Commencement on May 25 on our soccer field as we celebrate the end of the academic year together outdoors. Our commencement keynote, Jenny Dearborn, will be certain to deliver an inspiring message to our community about resilience and equity. We will be breaking records again this year with the number of graduates earning degrees and certificates and so let me be the first to say — congratulations!!!!
The end of the academic year also signals planning for the excitement that comes with educational discoveries that lie ahead. New programs in HVAC and the AJ degree at Coyote Valley launch in the fall, our participation in the Online Education Initiative, and more. So, enjoy the month of May, a month of endings and beginnings and I look forward to seeing you on campus soon!