AHC's 92nd Commencement Honors More Than 700 Graduates

749 graduates earned 1,016 degrees

2013 GraduationMAY 24, 2013 -- Allan Hancock College graduates crossed the stage Friday, May 24, cheered on by about 2,000 family members, friends, faculty and staff at the college’s 92nd annual commencement ceremony held on the lawn of the Santa Maria campus Commons. Pictured are, from left, Richie Tolentino, Ian Rojas, Sarai Zavala-Zamudio, Derek Morgan and Adam Headley.

Addressing the graduates were Interim Allan Hancock College Superintendent/President Ellizabeth Miller, Ed.D., Associated Student Body President Camerron Barlow and English Professor Jim Read.

Miller told the graduates, “You may not have entered this college with a specific plan or with the understanding that this was the beginning of a great new life; but you are leaving with just that.  The effort you have put into reaching this day proves that you have what it takes to be successful in whatever you do.”

With the wind tousling graduation gowns and tassels, she added, “You are on a fast track to bigger and better things.  You are the captains of your futures and only you can keep focused on the path ahead.  Yes, there may be bumps…but haven’t you seen and conquered some of them already?  Haven’t you proved to yourself and others that you can do what yo set your mind to do?”

Barlow congratulated the graduates on their achievements and focused on their perseverance, saying “You were tired, but you pressed on.  You were stressed, but you pressed on.  You overcame everything that stood in your way.  You’re here – you’re here on your graduation day.  You made it.  The time and the dedication it took was worth it.”

In his address, Read remarked that “A college, an academy, isn’t a collection of buildings or books or classrooms, rather it is the tradition of thinking and learning that links all of us whose lives have intersected at Allan Hancock College.  As graduates, you have an honored place in this tradition.  Honest teachers will admit that they continuously learn from their students and colleagues; an open and free exchange of ideas should define any institution of higher education.”

Read also shared with the graduates and the audience lessons learned from long-time colleague, Professor Bob Isaacson, who passed away last year.  Read said, “First of all, know yourselves.  Yes, I used the plural yourselves.”  He explained that Bob was not just a professor, he was also a rancher, father, husband and more – that he and all of us are the sum of our various parts and roles. 

He said, “Today the temptation to surround ourselves solely with like-minded people is great.  If you can reduce your position on something important to a clichéd slogan, then you haven’t done the hard work of thinking critically about the subject.  Don’t limit your perspective to what is comfortable and easy.”

In conclusion, Read reminded the graduates to keep pushing themselves.  “Wherever you go, Allan Hancock College will be here, waiting to continue to learn with you.  You carry our intellectual DNA with you now.”

The graduates participating in the commencement exercises were among the 749 students who earned 1,016 associate in arts or science degrees during the 2012-13 academic year.  These degrees – 693 associate in arts degrees and 323 associate in science degrees – were earned in 71 different majors. 

Of the 749 graduates, 131 graduated with honors for maintaining a GPA of 3.5 or above.  Six of those students maintained a perfect GPA of 4.0 and graduated with high honors.  They are Lompoc residents Alber Douglawi and Cristina Velazquez; Anne Gendernalik, Daisy Ordaz, and Robert Rancano of Santa Maria; and Grace Larson of Nipomo.

Spanning ages 18 to 75, the average age of this year’s graduate was 27.  The youngest graduate was 18-year-old Kaila Holford of Santa Maria, who earned an A.A. in liberal arts-transfer: arts and humanities; the oldest, Mary Kipper, also a Santa Maria resident, earned an A.A. in art.

Selected for the honor of carrying the Allan Hancock College banners this year were Wilbaldo Acevedo and Richie Tolentino, the two graduates who each earned six degrees.

Santa Maria resident Acevedo earned A.A. degrees in chemistry, engineering, physics, mathematics: physics emphasis, liberal arts, non-transfer: mathematics and science, and liberal arts-transfer: mathematics and science.  He is transferring to UC Davis this fall to study psychology with the goal to perhaps become an experimental psychologist and study the human brain.  

Fellow banner carrier Tolentino, of Guadalupe, earned A.A. degrees in chemistry, engineering, physics, mathematics: computer science emphasis, mathematics: physics emphasis and liberal arts-transfer: mathematics and science.  He is transferring this fall to San Jose State University to study electrical engineering and would like to work in security systems networking.

The ceremony was streamed live on the Allan Hancock College website and will be available next week via the college’s YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/allanhancockcollege) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/allanhancockcollege) pages.

Graduate lists are available by area:
Santa Maria Valley
Lompoc Valley
Santa Ynez Valley
Five Cities Area
Out-of-District & Out-of-State Graduates

 - AHC -

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Last Modified May 2, 2014