David Rosen
Commencement ceremonies at any school are a time of celebration where people share stories, laugh loudly, and say goodbye to their friends and move on to face new challenges. For South Seattle Community College June 19 marked the second consecutive year the college has held the ceremony at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. CLICK THE PHOTO ABOVE TO SEE MORE

SLIDESHOW: SSCC commencement at Benaroya sees more than 900 degrees and certificates awarded

By David Rosen

Commencement ceremonies at any school are a time of celebration where people share stories, laugh loudly, and say goodbye to their friends and move on to face new challenges. For South Seattle Community College June 19 marked the second consecutive year the college has held the ceremony at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle.

This year, 930 degrees and certificates were awarded, including 376 in academic transfer, 387 in professional/technical studies and multi-occupational trades, and 32 students in the college’s four-year Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Hospitality Management degree program. The graduating class also includes 24 new Registered Nurses and 22 dual-graduate Running Start students, who are concurrently receiving a college AA degree and high school diploma.

Dolphy Blue Jordan (Academic), Heriberto Sánchez (Professional Technical), and Joshua Fitzpatrick (BAS in Hospitality Management) from South Seattle Community College received President’s medals for their academic achievement.

In addition to all of multi-hued honor cords given to different students, this year there were numerous new graduate recognitions such as:

· Student veterans (41) – red, white, and blue cords symbolizing their military service.

· AA degree with Asian Pacific Islander emphasis – green stole.

· Student leaders of Student Life and Diversity & Retention – Kente cloth.

· Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management graduates – black caps and gowns with brown stoles.

. TRiO graduates – black and red cords.

Some of the key names in the ceremony were Mr. John Nordling, a member of the SSCC faculty who was the commencement speaker,
Mr. Gary Oertli, the President of SSCC and Vice Chancellor for District-Wide Instruction. Dr. Jill Wakefield, Chancellor of Seattle Community College District and many members from the Board of Trustees.

John Nordling gave a speech emphasizing the practical use of their education to the entire graduating class. He said, “ Once everyone here graduates today, make a plan for the job market by either looking up ads in your field on the internet or union bulletin board for positions available. Second, plan on how to get from where you are today to be able to be considered for a job in the future. In summary make sure you have goals and plans to make it easier to maneuver around the bumps and curves in life. So remember to find something you are truly passionate about , put together a 5-year plan supported by a 2-year plan, and finally... life is full of surprises - change your plans accordingly and move on toward new goals. Remember, you are the only one who can set your goals - even with all the support in the world; you are the only one who can do it! Congratulations and remember you’ve got big shoes to fill, your own!”

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