Students Reach a Milestone at GCC

Arpee Markarian

Family and friends gathered at Sartoris Field on Saturday, June 9, to applaud the achievements of their graduating loved ones at GCC’s 80th Commencement Ceremony.

The graduating class filed in procession across the green lawn, filling six rows as they eagerly waited to receive their certificates and two-year degrees.

Among the 1,069 graduating were 102 nursing students, some of whom had the letters “R.N.” emblazoned on their burgundy caps, displayed with pride.

“I am very proud,” said Esmeralda Avila, a nursing graduate. “It is a big challenge to get through this program.”

The sunshine bathed the yellow flowers on the blue and green stage, where school officials sat, facing the graduating class. Board of Trustees President Armine Hacopian, acknowledged the accomplishments of the students.

“You are successful today because you imagined this day several years ago and now, you have reached it,” she said.

Michael F. Escalante, Superintendent of the Glendale Unified School District, delivered the commencement address, encouraging students to continue onto higher education.

“[Pursuing an education] will have a strong impact on your lifestyle and that of your family,” said Escalante. “We live in a technology and information driven society that requires advanced degrees and training in order to participate at a full benefit.”

Audre Levy, Superintendent/President of GCC, awarded three Honorary, Associate in Arts degrees.

The recipients were: Carol Liu, former California state assembly member, Bhupesh Parikh, member of the GCC Foundation Board of Directors, and his wife Kamud Parikh.

The Parikh’s donated $1 million for the construction of the Bhupesh Parikh Health and Sciences Technology building, scheduled to open in the fall.

After 514 A.A. and 200 A.S. degrees, and 355 certificates were awarded, students crossed their gold-colored tassels from right to left.

“This marks the culmination of our studies at GCC and our entrance into the world of new opportunities, responsibilities and life changes,” said David Arakelyan, President of the Associated Students of Glendale Community College.

The festivities of the day completed with white doves circling the blue sky. At the music-filled Plaza Vaquero, proud parents and friends commemorated the occasion with pictures of the smiling graduates.