Milestones achieved at the 2018 LBCC commencement ceremony

Story and photo by Steven Matthews

Graduating students show their creative side by personalizing their caps at the 2018 LBCC Commencement Ceremony Thursday, June 7 at the Veterans Stadium.
Graduating students show their creative side by personalizing their caps at the 2018 LBCC Commencement Ceremony Thursday, June 7 at the Veterans Stadium.

The 2018 LBCC Commencement Ceremony went off without a hitch as LBCC honored over 1,400 spring graduates, 600 Fall graduates and an additional 300 career certifications at the Veterans Stadium on Thursday, June 7.

The ceremony started a little after 4:00 p.m. with the faculty filling into the seats flanking the stage and then the graduates marched in dual columns to fill out the seats in front. A few thousand people, family, friends and well wishers of the graduates waited patiently in the stands. Javier Salcedo, the 2017-2018 Associated Student Body President gave the opening speech to welcome the crowd, and then all stood for the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Next, the Associate Professor of Horticulture, Jorge Ochoa, announced the Valedictorian, MacKenzie Howard and brought her to the podium to give her speech. MacKenzie delivered her speech with confident flair, to which the crowd reciprocated with resounding applause. Next up to the podium was Jorgel Chavez, the 2017 – 2018 Student Trustee to welcome the Commencement Speaker, Dr. J. Luke Wood. Dr Wood came to LBCC on loan from San Diego State University to give words of encouragement to the graduates and to share some of his own experiences as they prepare to enter the workforce.

LBCC Superintendent – President Dr. Reagan F. Romali came to the stage next to begin the process of recognizing the students on the field. Next came the Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Kathleen J. Scott to recognize the certificate recipients while Sunny Zia the Vice President of LBCC Board of Trustees conferred the certificates.

Dr. Romali then came back up to the stage to recognize the graduates themselves while Mrs. Zia conferred the degrees. They were assisted on stage by Lois Barth, Dr. Paul Creason, John Downey, Laura Rantala, and Jerome Thomas. The conferring of the certificates was easily the longest part of the ceremony, but it also gives the impending graduates a moment of jubilation and relaxation before they go on stage to get their awards. Two graduates, Charles Williams and Kamron Rhodes were certainly in the spirit. “We have been working very hard for this!” Rhodes exclaimed before he went on stage.

Finally, the ceremony concluded with the closing speech given by the Vice President of Human Resources, Rose DeGaudio. The graduates then filed out through the home team entrance, with the faculty members trailing, to gather and meet with the family and friends in the parking lot.