Saddleback College will recognize its 2,541 graduates and 1,186 certificate of achievement recipients at its annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 23rd at 9:00 a.m. in the gymnasium. The event will feature the traditional processional and reading of the graduate’s names, and will feature Jonathan Mooney, president of Project-Eye-To-Eye – a mentoring and advocacy non-profit organization for students with learning differences – as commencement speaker. The student speaker is Shayan Akhavan, who is transferring to the University of California, San Diego this fall as a psychology major.
Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, stated, “Commencement is a special time at Saddleback College where we celebrate student completion and the accomplishments of our graduates. I am very proud of our students and the faculty, staff, and administrators who played an integral role in helping them reach their goals. Congratulations to the Class of 2014.”
During the ceremony, special recognition will be given to Professor of the Year, Dr. Alannah Rosenberg (economics), Associate Professor of the Year Fariba Vatandoust (chemistry), and Emeritus Institute Professor of the Year Collette Chattopadhyay (art history).
Students participating in commencement are candidates for Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees and certificates of achievement. More than 2,000 students will also be transferring to four-year colleges and universities to pursue their baccalaureate degrees. Since 2008-2009, there has been a 28 percent increase in total transfers, including a 23 percent increase in transfers to the UC system and an 11 percent increase to the CSU system, and a 32 percent increase in out-of-state and private college transfers. This year’s graduates will be transferring to four-year institutions such as USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, CSU Fullerton, San Diego State University, and Arizona State University, among many others.
South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees President T.J. Prendergast will lead the conferral of degrees along with Trustees Timothy Jemal, David B. Lang, Marcia Milchiker, and Nancy M. Padberg, and South Orange County Community College District Chancellor Gary Poertner.
Of the students who are graduating from Saddleback College this year, 287 are receiving honors, including 10 summa cum laude (4.0 grade point average), 105 magna cum laude (3.75 to 3.99 grade point average) and 172 cum laude (3.5 to 3.74 grade point average). Showing the diverse range of ages at the college, the youngest graduate is 16 years of age, and the most senior graduate is 75 years of age. More than 430 graduates are age 20 or younger, and 73 graduates are over the age of 55.