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COC 40th Anniversary brings 41st commencement

Posted: May 27, 2010 5:44 p.m.
Updated: May 28, 2010 5:25 p.m.
The College of the Canyons class of 2010 will celebrate its 40th Anniversary commencement ceremonies at 9:30 a.m., Friday, June 4, in the college's Honor Grove, located on the Valencia campus. Guests should arrive no later than 9:15 a.m.

The scene of many graduations and other college ceremonies and events, the college's Honor Grove is located in the center of the campus and will be outfitted with a stage for the presentation of diplomas and certificates, as well as seating for the graduates and the proud families and friends who will be in attendance.

Though 2009-10 is the college's 40th Anniversary- the college's first year of operation was the 1969-70 year - this is actually the college's 41st commencement.

The college held a commencement during its first year, graduating 16 students, on June 26, 1970, in the Hart High School cafeteria. Those students had transferred from other institutions when College of the Canyons opened, and they had enough units to be able to graduate at the end of the college's inaugural year.

As a way to acknowledge and honor the college's 40th Anniversary, this year's ceremony will begin with a special processional of 41 alumni, including a member of each of the college's previous graduating classes. While the college's current graduates will wear blue robes, the alumni representatives will wear gold. Many of these alumni members are previous board members, faculty, administrators and staff of the college.

While there were just 16 graduates in 1970, the class of 2010 has 1,107 graduates, representing 46 majors. The leading major is transfer studies, with nursing having the second highest number of graduates.

The class of 2010 is 36.4 percent male and 63.6 percent female. However, the number of males (403) has increased by four percent this year and the number of females (704) has decreased by ½ percent, a trend seen across the country during the current recession. In 1970, the graduates were evenly divided by gender.

In the class of 2010, the oldest student is 61-years-old, and there are three students in that age group. There are six students in the 17-year-old age group, representing the youngest of the graduates.

Notably, this year there are 572 ethnic minority students, as well as 25 international students, studying here from nine countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Philippines and South Korea. Fourteen veterans are also included in this graduating class.

Academically, there are 191 students graduating with honors - which requires a 3.5 GPA or higher - and 14 students with perfect 4.0 GPAs, which grants them the status of valedictorians at the college. The average GPA of the class of 2010 is 3.03, unchanged from last year.

In addition to honoring the graduates, the college will recognize six retiring long-time administrators: Dean of Allied Health Sue Albert, Assistant Director of Campus Safety Ed Arambula, Dean of Special Programs Beth Asmus, Vice President of Communications, Marketing and External Relations Sue Bozman, Director of Contracts and Procurement Shari Bricker and Director of the International Student Program Bruce Pelkey.

This story is posted in The Signal's SCV Raw section. Click here for more information about SCV Raw.


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