Students from across Cerro Coso's vast service area, the largest services area in the state, received degrees and/or certificates during Cerro Coso Community College's virtual commencement ceremony Saturday.
Graduates from Mammoth Lakes, Bishop, Ridgecrest, Lake Isabella, Edwards Air Force Base, Tehachapi, and Online were recognized during a prerecorded graduation ceremony that was presented on the Cerro Coso website.
492 students earned 679 degrees and 233 certificates for a total of 912 awards during the past academic year. Many are first generation college students and 6 were graduating high school simultaneously.
The ceremony marked the college's 47th commencement, and included special remarks by Cerro Coso President Jill Board and Kern Community College District Chancellor Thomas Burke.
Three student speakers: Emma Gilmartin (IWV Campus), Tricia Aguirre (KRV Campus), and Subber Dhillon (IWV Campus) shared their messages and inspiration with their fellow students.
Vice President of Instruction Dr. Corey Marvin presented the group for the conferral of degrees and certificates to President Board.
The ceremony included a reading of each graduate's name and a slide with their own personal message of appreciation.
The Eastern Sierra Chamber Orchestra provided the pomp and circumstance for the event which concluded with individual congratulatory messages by students and employees and a group clap.
The coronavirus pandemic forced students to complete their in-person courses online. CCCC also had to cancel its in-person commencement exercises, which had been scheduled for May.
“Honoring graduates through our commencement ceremonies is one of Cerro Coso's most important traditions. Our entire college community shares in our graduating students' disappointment over losing their last moments on campus with friends and professors and all the year-end celebrations,” Board said.
“We understand nothing can completely replace the commencement experience we had planned. In light of the circumstances, we hope the virtual ceremony shows our graduates how proud we are of them.”
Graduates received a complementary tassel, cap, and diploma cover prior to the ceremony and were encouraged to take photos celebrating their achievements using a special SnapChat filter designed just for them, and will receive their diplomas by mail at a later date.
The ceremony will remain online at Cerro Coso Commencement for all to enjoy!