Large turnout expected for West Hills College commencement ceremony May 24

From West Hills College

West Hills College Coalinga will see an increase in commencement participation this year. Of the 510 graduates of West Hills College Coalinga, more than 180 will participate in the May 24 commencement ceremony.

“We are proud of the more than 180 students walking in our commencement,” said Carole Goldsmith, president of WHCC. “This is a record for us in recent history. It is reflective of our student’s dedication as well as our faculty and staff’s commitment to our students and their success. Earning a community college certificate or degree is a life-changing event for a student, the power of which can transform his or her life, especially in earnings and overall quality of life.”

The ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the WHCC gymnasium. Among the graduates are three members of Beta Upsilon Phi, WHCC’s own chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Those members are Araceli Melchor, Bea Lorenzo and Carmen Velasquez.

Catherine Ybarra is the student speaker for the ceremony. She will receive her degree in English/liberal arts and communication, and she will transfer to California State University, Fresno, in the fall. She is the TRiO club president and is also involved in the EOPS and Student Support Services programs. Ybarra serves as a mentor for both programs.

Commencement speakers this year include Phil Larson, Fresno County Supervisor, and Judy Case, Fresno County Supervisor. Michael Lynch, a theater instructor at Modesto Junior College who has had 39 plays produced during his career, will be recognized during the ceremony as the 2014 Alumnus of the Year.

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