• By Alex Boekelheide on May 4, 2023
  • Posted in Featured, News

Despite a late-season rainstorm, crews are preparing Robinson Stadium for Pasadena City College’s 97th Commencement Ceremony this Friday, May 5.

A total of 3,046 students will earn their degrees or certificates from PCC this spring. While the ceremony will feature only a portion of those graduating students, those on hand will be celebrating for the entire class of 2023.

“I am so excited to celebrate this achievement with our students,” said Sandra Chen Lau, board president of the Pasadena Area Community College District. “Many of our graduates have overcome significant challenges as individuals and as a community. At every turn, they have chosen to advance their education for the benefit of their families, their neighborhoods, and themselves. I am inspired by perseverance and wish the graduates all the successes they deserve as they continue their life journeys.”

“We are proud to host these graduating students and their families and friends,” said Erika Endrijonas, Ph.D., superintendent/president of Pasadena City College. “These graduates have earned the right to pause and celebrate their achievements before they continue on their path – whether its transferring to a college or university, entering the workforce, or revitalizing their professional lives. Wherever their next step may take them, I am confident they are prepared for what’s ahead.”

PCC will award more than 1,400 associate degrees for transfer, dedicated two-year degrees that streamline the process of transitioning to a four-year institution. The college has been among the top producers in the state for these degrees since they were implemented nearly a decade ago.

The graduating students will earn a total of 4,522 degrees and certificates, based on preliminary data, for an average of nearly 1.5 credentials per student. The student graduating with the most credentials is earning two concurrent associate degrees (in Business and Communication Studies) and another five certificates in business-related areas.

The student speaker for this year’s ceremony is David Moore, a 41-year-old who spent time in the criminal justice system before beginning his studies at PCC. After battling addiction and leaving his life in a gang, he has gone on to double-major in sociology and behavioral sciences, and hopes to earn his Ph.D. as a social worker. Mr. Moore has received transfer admission letters from UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC Irvine, among others. 

The youngest member of PCC’s graduating class is 15 years old, and the oldest is a 77-year-old student earning a certificate of achievement in the French language. The class includes a mother-daughter duo who are both earning their associate degrees, as well as a student who returned to complete their studies after 34 years away from higher education. 

PCC’s 97th Commencement Ceremony begins at 7 p.m., rain or shine, at Robinson Stadium on the Colorado Blvd. campus. The sold-out event may be viewed live and via recording on the college’s YouTube channel. All guests attending will be required to show a valid ticket.

For more information, visit pasadena.edu/commencement.

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