SRJC's 98th Commencement

commencement_bush.jpgAnother recent newsworthy event was our graduation ceremony, which took place on Saturday, May 27, at the Santa Rosa campus. In front of a commencement audience of over 3,000, the JC awarded approximately 2,000 associate degrees to nearly 1,600 graduates. The difference between the number of degrees conferred and individuals receiving them is explained by there being quite a number of students whose hard work earned them more than one degree. Congratulations to one and all!

In delivering the major commencement speech, Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of the California community college system and a University of California regent, said that SRJC is one of the jewels in California’s community college system and, in fact, one of the nation’s finest community colleges.

In its reporting on the commencement, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat quoted the proud parent of one graduate as saying that SRJC is “the best school ever. It’s like an Ivy League school.” Whether or not that comparison is totally on target, I’m happy to point out that as an SRJC graduate myself (Class of 2009) I found the education I received there a terrific preparation for my studies at UC Berkeley – unquestionably a college of Ivy League caliber.

Perhaps that superlative quality and prestige are why SRJC President Chong, in opening the ceremony, was able to observe that the JC is a “truly international college.” He pointed out that among this year’s graduates, alongside all those from across the length and breadth of Sonoma County, were students from the Bahamas, Brazil, China, Japan, Malaysia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Tunisia and the United Kingdom.

I would add simply that the JC helps build Sonoma’s renown for so much more than fine wine. The SRJC class of 2017 promises to be a remarkable vintage.

(Photo credit Darryl Bush / The Press Democrat)