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April 1, 2023

Hollister woman organizes Gavilan graduation, then graduates

Courtesy of Jan Janes at Gavilan College

Grace Cardinalli is the smiling face and long-time employee in student services who plans multiple student events each year. This year, the Hollister resident organized graduation for Gavilan students, which also included herself.

She was one of the last to cross the stage and received a standing ovation from staff and faculty.

“When the Gavilan admin staff and faculty cheered,” she said, “I almost lost it. You all have NO idea how much this means to me.”

Unseasonable rain gave way to clear, breezy skies Friday afternoon, as Gavilan College celebrated its 98th annual commencement. Students streamed through the athletic center to collect caps and gowns, as well as honorary cords, on their way to an outdoor ceremony.

Commencement speaker Jenny Dearborn, executive vice president and chief talent & leadership officer for SAP worldwide, shared her personal challenges with dyslexia, ADHD and OCD, only discovered once she arrived at American River College. She offered the graduates four steps to success: “Believe in yourself, apply yourself, figure out your magic and pay it forward.”

During commencement, the college celebrated faculty of the year Alice Dufresne-Reyes, college nurse for 24 years, and Jenny Grohol, history instructor.

An honorary degree was given to Roberta Hughan, native Gilroyan, architect, and former Gilroy mayor (1983-1991), the first woman elected to the position. She has served on multiple boards and commissions as well as volunteered for arts, women’s rights, school, social service organizations and the Gilroy Garlic Festival Advisory Committee. For all her endeavors and dedication, Gavilan College recognizes her.

A posthumous honorary degree was bestowed on Antonio Del Buono, champion of social movements, farm workers, voter drives, legal assistance for the working poor and senior activities. The Antonio Del Buono Elementary School was dedicated to the man who said, “A good education builds a good citizen.” Gavilan College honors his fight for justice, equity and quest for knowledge.

Denise Besson, Gabe Trementozzi
Denise Besson, chair of the Communication Studies department, congratulates
Gabriel Trementozzi as he enters the ceremony with other communication
students. An Aromas resident and honors student, Trementozzi earned an
AA-T degree and will transfer to CSU Stanislaus in the fall.

Nicole Jensen, Gavilan College faculty
English major and honors student Nicole Jensen, from San Juan Bautista, walked
the center aisle of applauding faculty.

Michele Castro, GCFA scholarship
Michele Castro, of Morgan Hill (right), displays the plaque commemorating her scholarship from
Gavilan College Faculty Association. Pictured with her are Dr. Blanca Arteaga, (left) advisor of the
honor society Rho Alpha Mu, and Dr. Kathleen Rose, Gavilan College Superintendent/President.
An honors student and communication studies major, Castro earned multiple degrees and
scholarships and has been accepted by San José State University, UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley.

Graduation Video Online

For commencement 2018, 861 Gavilan College students earned at least one degree or certificate.

205 students earned an AA degree in their field of study
146 students earned an AS degree in their field of study
132 students earned an AA-T degree in their field of study
161 students earned an AS-T degree in their field of study

The top ten degrees for 2018

  • Business Administration
  • Health Science
  • Administration of Justice
  • Liberal Arts
  • Psychology
  • Communication
  • Allied Health (LVN and RN)
  • Liberal Arts – Natural Science
  • Liberal Arts – Behavioral & Organizational Science
  • Kinesiology

An AA-T or AS-T degree guarantees students a pathway into the California State University system with junior class standing.

Is it time to join them? Registration for summer and fall classes is open. Visit http://www.gavilan.edu/admit/index.php

grads check in
At the check in tables, students found everything they needed for the ceremony. From
bobby pins to safety pins, students got what they needed to march.

Laura Leon
Honor student Laura Leon, representing Mathematics, had the highest GPA in
her area of study and was selected to lead the section in the graduation march.

Graduation procession
Following entry of the administrative staff, faculty marched down the center aisle,
then flanked each side. Leading students into the ceremony are newly elected
ASGC President Nolan Golden, of Hollister, and college mascot Rocky, wearing
honor roll gold cord and graduation gown.

Dr Kathleen Rose 2018 graduation
Joined on stage by student leaders, Gavilan College Board of Trustees and administration,
Dr. Kathleen Rose, Superintendent/President welcomed students, faculty, friends and
family to the commencement celebration.

Graduation crowd
Graduation was moved outdoors to the soccer field for the first time. More than
3000 chairs immediately filled, no tickets were required, and the field overflowed
with families and friends.