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Gavilan holds outdoor graduation for first time

Gavilan College announced details for Friday’s graduation ceremony at the campus.

According to an announcement from Gavilan College:

This Friday, the Gavilan College Board of Trustees, Superintendent/President Dr. Kathleen A. Rose, college administration and faculty will confer 1475 degrees and certificates upon 889 graduating students (many students are earning more than one credential.)

For the first time, the college will be holding an outdoor ceremony, having outgrown the Bud and Jean Ottmar Gymnasium. With the larger, outdoor space, graduates will not be restricted to a small number of tickets as they had been in the past.

“We are hoping for great weather for this historic event” said Dr. Kathleen A. Rose. “But if it rains, we are still going to proceed, and encourage guests to bring their  umbrellas.”

The keynote speaker for graduation is Jenny Dearborn, Executive Vice President and Chief Talent & Leadership Officer for software company SAP.  Jenny is a regular contributor to mainstream business and industry news media. In 2017 she won Female Business Executive of the Year at The Stevie Awards and the international Athena Leadership Award. In 2017 and 2016 she was recognized by the Financial Times as one of the top 20 global executive LGBTQ allies. Jenny was recognized in 2014, 2015 and 2016 as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology by the National Diversity Council. She received the 2014 Silicon Valley Women of Influence Award and the 2013 Silicon Valley Tribute to Women in Industry Award. In 2015 she was Executive Producer of the popular twicemonthly radio show “Game Changers: Women in Business” on the Voice of America Radio Network to support advancing women in business. Jenny earned an MBA in Organizational Development from San Jose State University, a Masters of Education and Teaching Credential from Stanford University, a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from University of California at Berkeley and an Associates of Arts degree in Social Sciences from American River College in Sacramento. She has embraced her personal challenges, Dyslexia, ADHD and OCD, that were formative in her youth and now harness them as sources of strength.

Two Honorary Degrees will be presented. The first will go to architect Roberta Hughan, former mayor, and first woman mayor, of the City of Gilroy for her lifetime of public service. Hughan served on numerous boards and commissions including the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Board of Directors for the California Air Resources Board, Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority Citizen’s Advisory Group, Gilroy Historic Heritage Committee, and the Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women. She also volunteered with the Theater Angels Art League, the American Association of University Women, various women’s rights organizations, St. Joseph’s Family Center, St. Mary’s School parents’ groups, and the Gilroy Garlic Festival Advisory Committee, among others.

The second Honorary Degree is being presented posthumously to Antonio del Buono. Del Buono was the first president of the Oxnard, California Community Services organization, and pioneered the California Rural Legal Assistance program in Gilroy and other cities. He later taught at San Jose State University and other institutions, and is the namesake of Gilroy’s Antonio del Buono Elementary School.

Two students will be recognized during the ceremony with the Outstanding Scholar Award from the Gavilan College Faculty, to Sameera Khan and Maria de Jesus Rios-Zendejas.

Sameera Khan is a graduating senior at the Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy. She is graduating from Gavilan College with an Associate Degree in Are and and Certificate of Achievement in Liberal Studies – Multiple Subjects. Sameera will be transferring to UC Berkeley as a biochemistry and public health double major.

Maria de Jesus Rios-Zendejas is graduating with an Associate in Arts for Transfer and a Certificate of Achievement in English. She will be transferring to Sonoma State University to major in English and aspires to be a teacher and a writer.

The names of the candidates for degrees and certificates will be read aloud as they cross the stage, by the Fulltime Faculty of the Year, Alice Dufresne-Reyes and Parttime Faculty of the Year, Jennifer Grohol.

Event Details

DATE: Friday, May 25, 2018
TIME: 6 p.m.
LOCATION: Gavilan  College Soccer Field, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd., Gilroy, CA
TICKETS: Not required
Top 10 Associate Degree Programs (AA/AS and ADTs) for 2018:
1. Business Administration
2. Health Science
3. Administration of Justice
4. Liberal Arts
5. Psychology
6. Communication
7. Allied Health (LVN and Registered Nursing)
8. Liberal Arts – Natural Science
9. Liberal Arts – Behavioral & Organizational Science
10. Kinesiology