2021 Santa Ana College Commencement at Angel Stadium (photo credit - Tony Kawashima)
Santa Ana, Calif. – On June 1, 1,250 students wearing graduation caps and gowns graced Angel Stadium as Santa Ana College celebrated its newest graduates marking the return of in-person commencement ceremonies for the first time since June 2019.
From left to right: Anh Vo, mother of graduate, and class of 2020 graduate Thi Pham.
Santa Ana College will confer degrees for student graduates in the classes of 2020 and 2021 who are completing baccalaureate degrees in occupational therapy, or associate degrees of science or the arts as well as high school diplomas or equivalency from the School of Continuing Education.
Delight and enthusiasm filled the stadium as family and friends supported and cheered their graduates as they stood and waived when names were announced.
From left to right: Class of 2020 graduates Victoria Navarrete, Raymundo Gonzalez and Kiara Darling-Sanders.
“I’m excited to be at the Angel Stadium, participating in an in-person ceremony celebrating the completion of my associate’s degree program,” said Yamir Aleman, Class of 2021. “Equally, I’m looking forward to beginning a new chapter at the University of California, Irvine, where I will continue my education focusing on an undergraduate degree in Psychology. I hope to come back to the city of Santa Ana, the community I hold dear, to one day help others.”
Class of 2021 graduate Yamir Aleman
Interim President Dr. Marilyn Flores encouraged graduates saying, “You’re standing here as a Santa Ana College graduate and that is a testament to your tenacity and commitment to your future. You chose to thrive despite the obstacles you faced and met this moment with brilliance and an undying spirit that will carry you into the very bright future that awaits you.”
SAC is one of 15 community colleges in California to offer a 4-year occupational studies bachelor degree program (OS BDP). This year is a celebratory milestone, as SAC will confer degrees from the second and third graduating classes of the program.
“The OS BDP prepared me to succeed in the field,” said Patricia Salazar, 32-year-old, mother of two. “I attribute part of my success in obtaining my baccalaureate degree to the faculty at SAC because they consistently made themselves available to students – they made our journey easier, especially during the health crises. I’m a first-generation college graduate, and now I will begin bigger and better things, including one day pursuing my master’s degree.”
Class of 2021 graduate Patricia Salazar
The national anthem, “Star-Spangled Banner," and the black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing," were performed LIVE at the ceremony followed by a motivating message from the keynote speaker SAC Alumnus, Ambassador Gaddi Vasquez. Ambassador Vasquez inspired graduates by sharing his humble beginnings as a descendant of migrant farm workers to a first-generation college graduate as well as his success as a U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Organization.
left to right: Class of 2021 graduates Brent Debord, Kelly Foote, Catherine
Bartle and Nazia Noor
The ceremony was livestreamed for families who were unable to attend. The Santa Ana College administration and its community apologize for the unintentional interruptions that occurred in the livestream feed and sign language interpretation during the ceremony.
Precautions were put in place at the commencement ceremony to adhere to the state's existing guidelines for outdoor seated events and gatherings. Attendees were required to wear masks and attend in single household units.
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About Santa Ana College
Whether it is for university transfer preparation, career training, or personal development, Santa Ana College (SAC) is the best choice for career advancement. SAC has a reputation for excellence and is continually ranked a state leader for the number of students who transfer each year to a university. SAC is a top-of-mind choice when it comes to career preparation in fields that are in high demand such as nursing and fire technology.