ORANGE, CA – Santiago Canyon College (SCC) is thrilled to announce that it will hold an in-person commencement ceremony this year to celebrate the Class of 2020 and 2021.
Angel Stadium in Anaheim will host the highly anticipated event for students on Monday, June 14, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for approximately 2,200 graduates combined from both classes. About 700 graduates are expected to participate in person.
Like most other educational institutions, Santiago Canyon College was prevented from offering in-person ceremonies in 2020 because of COVID-19. It pivoted from planning a drive-through commencement to an in-person celebration after Orange County moved into the less-restrictive orange tier of the State’s reopening plan. Under the new Outdoor Stadium Live Performance public health guidelines, SCC partnered with Angel Stadium and is arranging for some special highlights at the event. In addition, students and guests will be treated to a fireworks display at the closing of the ceremony.
“The opportunity to offer an in-person ceremony and showcase our students’ hard work and dedication to their studies was incredibly timely and very welcome in this landscape that has been challenging for many,” said
SCC Interim President Jose Vargas. “We are proud of each of their accomplishments and want to celebrate it in the traditional way where they can share this momentous and cherished memory with special persons in their lives.”
To comply with coronavirus restrictions, everyone in attendance will be required to have a ticket, and they must remain in their seats throughout the program. Each student will be allowed to bring two family members, or significant others, to the ceremony. While maintaining social distancing and face-covering guidelines, students will walk on the warning track and have their moment displayed on the outfield board for live feed. The main stage will be reserved for college administrators and a special guest speaker to be announced.
“Angel Stadium is proud to be the venue to host Santiago Canyon College’s commencement this year in line with our continued commitment to working with our community,” said
Courtney Wallace, Angels Director of Special Events. “As a partner, we look forward to providing the backdrop for this very special event.”
“I am a first-generation student, earning the first college degree in my family,” said
Mechanical Engineering major Rafael Espinoza. “Even though it’s a huge milestone for me to earn this degree, I was not planning on participating in the drive-through event, but now that the graduation will be in person, I will have my parents there to make them proud of my accomplishment.” Espinoza plans to transfer to UCI or UCLA to complete his bachelor’s degree and someday work at an aeronautical company such as NASA.
While community colleges are considered 2-year educational institutions, some students may take longer to complete their studies due to family matters, personal or work-related challenges. Such was the case with
Odaliz Gonzalez whose dream is to become a pediatrician. “It has taken me 5 years to earn my Associate of Arts degree in Child and Adolescent Development,” said Gonzalez. She plans to transfer to California State University of Fullerton, Long Beach, Dominguez Hills or Los Angeles and work toward her bachelor’s degree. “Because my family strongly values a college education and is very proud of my tenacity to earn it, I was still going to participate in SCC’s drive-through commencement, but with it now being held in person and allowing students to walk up and receive their degree, the ceremony becomes incrementally more special to experience with other peers and share with family. I can’t wait to publicly be recognized and dedicate my AA degree to my parents for all the support they’ve provided.”
Students will receive an e-mail with information about the announcement and be able to visit a webpage on commencement as the planning continues and more details become available. Eligible graduates will be asked to confirm their intent to participate as soon as possible.
“Santiago Canyon College is doing everything possible to accommodate students to celebrate this special moment in their life,” said
Chancellor Marvin Martinez of the Rancho Santiago Community College District. “The pandemic has truly tested everyone’s patience, yet, strengthened our resilience to bounce back. We are elated to provide this opportunity to our outstanding students who have proven that nothing can stop them from achieving success,” Martinez expressed. “They deserve to be celebrated to the fullest extent possible.”
About Santiago Canyon College
Santiago Canyon College (SCC) is one of two colleges in the Rancho Santiago Community College District and serves approximately 16,000 students annually. Accredited in 2000, this dynamic and award-winning institution is located in Southern California, in the city of Orange, and provides an array of educational opportunities to the over 195,000 residents comprising the eclectic community. SCC offers 221 degree and certificate programs (including 28 associate degrees for transfer). SCC has been ranked among the “50 Best Community Colleges” in the U.S. by College Choice, recognized multiple times by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of “The Great Colleges to Work For,” received Gold-level status as a Military Friendly School®, and boasts award-winning, dedicated faculty, high-quality and student-centered education, and has an excellent university transfer rate supported by transfer-guarantee programs.
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