Congratulations Viking Class of 2012
Published: Thursday, May 24, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2012 21:05
As the sun set on their time at LBCC, the 1,703 graduates of the 2012 class were all smiles Wednesday night, May 23 as they paraded onto the Veterans Stadium field to thousands of cheering well-wishers.
The procession of black robes was led by honors students and bringing up the end were the red robes of students earning trade certificates.
Of the 1,703 students honored, 609 would earn certificates from vocational programs.
Earning her carpentry certificate, Nhakel Verdez was full of praise for her year at LBCC.
“I loved it, great hands-on experience and the teachers were all very supportive,” Verdez said.
The keynote speaker was author and journalist Gustavo Arellano famous for his syndicated “Ask a Mexican” column in the O.C. Weekly.
Arellano, a product of the California Community College system, said he was honored to deliver the address at LBCC.
His speech was inspirational, witty and reflective of his time at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa in the late 1990’s.
Before the roll call of graduates, LBCC President Eloy Oakley used his speech to stump for Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative.
Oakley asked the graduates to visit www.lbcc.edu/advocacy and use the links to let their voices be heard to elected officials.
“We need to fund public education in California,” Oakley said emphatically.
Finally, he told graduates to “savor this moment.”
Despite the realities of the budget crisis across California, graduates were still excited to receive their diplomas.
For child development major Latika Mohan, the graduation is nothing new. She previously earned a degree in liberal arts.
“It’s better the second time around,” Mohan said.
Dave Plunkett, a psychology major at LBCC, was there to support his friend Desiree Kourchklas, whom he credits with his return to school.
“If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have come back myself. She told me it was never too late to go back to school, next year I hope to be out there,” Plunkett said.