Nearly 300 students participate in West Hills College Lemoore's Commencement May 25

From West Hills College Lemoore
These happy students were were just some of the 300 students who participated in the West Hills College Commencement on May 25.
These happy students were were just some of the 300 students who participated in the West Hills College Commencement on May 25.
Photo Courtesy of West Hills College

It was a night of pomp and circumstance for the nearly 300 students who participated in West Hills College Lemoore’s May 25 commencement ceremony.

“If you ever wondered whether or not your hard work would pay off, if you ever second guessed yourself when you started your journey at West Hills, if you were wondering if this day would ever come, just look around you,” said WHCL President Dr. Kristin Clark, addressing the students. “The day is here. You made it and we are all here to celebrate what you have accomplished.”

Graduates heard from several speakers, including keynote speaker Dr. Frank Gornick, Chancellor of the West Hills Community College District. This graduation marked the last time Gornick would attend a WHCL graduation as Chancellor. He is retiring in June after 23 years of service to the WHCCD.

He encouraged the graduates to celebrate their accomplishment of earning a degree and to also encourage those around them to pursue education.

“You may not know this but your accomplishment tonight—receiving an associate’s degree—is important to you and your family in many significant ways,” Gornick said. “It’s been proven that by earning an associate’s degree, you have increased your life expectancy and your lifetime income. You have increased the likelihood that your children will also earn a degree. You have increased your chances for uninterrupted employment.”

Gornick has served the district since 1994, when he was hired as Superintendent/President. He transitioned to Chancellor when WHCCD became a multi-college district in 2001. As Chancellor, he’s ushered in many changes to West Hills College including the opening of West Hills College Lemoore.

Other speakers included student speakers Nena Davis and Andrea Wood, two students who have been highly involved at WHCL.

Andrea Wood spoke about her involvement with various student clubs and student government while Davis spoke about challenges she’s overcome at WHCL.

Graduating student Michelle Castillo-Addison sang the national anthem.

While nearly 300 students participated in the ceremony itself, the total number of students who earned a degree or certificate from WHCL this year is higher: over 690.


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