Graduation celebration


Katharine Hada

Students line up to receive their diplomas at Diablo Valley College, Friday May 28, 2016.

Katharine Hada, Co-editor-in-chief

Over 250 recipients of Associate in Arts and Science degrees from Diablo Valley College’s fall and spring semester lined up to accept their degrees in the Vikings football field, Friday May 27.

The ceremony opened with a prelude medley of songs, and then graduates marched in to a soporific rendition of ‘Pomp and Circumstance,’ performed by the DVC jazz ensemble.

After a powerful performance of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ performed by DVC student Robbie Schmitz, President Peter Garcia gave a welcome address and was presented with a certificate of honor for his time spent at the college.

“I look to you, my fellow citizens, the graduates of DVC,” said Garcia, “you just changed your lives. And I celebrate your accomplishments tonight, and I anticipate so many more accomplishments from each and every one of you in the future. I thank you for choosing Diablo Valley College and for allowing my colleagues and me to become a part of your lives and to witness the changes you will make in the world.”

Following President Garcia, Vicki Gordon spoke on behalf of the Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board, and ASDVC president Wesley Xia thanked the community for the honor and privilege of serving the DVC community.

The student address was given by Marina Edwards, who graduated with honors and will be transferring in the fall. She gave a beautiful speech about overcoming adversity, saying, “We have triumphed over adversity and used it as a lesson to improve our times here at DVC,” highlighting the struggle of balancing a busy school schedule and the demands of daily life.

She spoke of her own difficulties, from living in a foster home from an early age, to not having a support system encouraging her to go to school, and how through inspiration from teachers and students, she began to feel supported in her pursuit of education.

“As we each embark on our own path, whether it’s finding a job, or transferring, or taking a break from school, that we will continue to use our adversities to improve our performance,” said Edwards. “We will never forget our value and importance to future campuses, jobs, and most importantly our community.”

The final faculty address was given by Dr. Joseph J. Gorga, professor of Oceanography and Biology at the San Ramon campus, who spoke on behalf of all the faculty and staff when he said, “We feel lucky to have been part of your academic journey, and we wish you well in your next steps.”

Gorga spoke of the importance of education in taking on the future, saying “Never stop using your powers of observation and your ability to question.” He concluded with the standard graduation excerpt from Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax,” “Unless some like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

The ceremony finally concluded with the receiving of diplomas, and the final turning of the tassels to thunderous cheers from the graduates.

Congratulations DVC class of 2016, and to all students moving forward past their DVC careers. Best of luck conquering the world.