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May 23, 2011

Record number of degrees and certificates to be conferred by Gavilan College at Commencement Ceremony this week. Graduating class includes first GECA students to graduate.

Gavilan College graduation: date, time and location
Friday, May 27, 6 p.m., Bud Ottmar Memorial Gymnasium, Gavilan College Gilroy campus,
5055 Santa Teresa Blvd., Gilroy, CA

Gavilan College graduation, by the numbers:
548 - total number of degrees and certificates to be conferred by the Board of Trustees
285 - Associate of Arts degrees to be awarded
151 - Certificates of Achievement to be awarded
96 - Associate of Science degrees to be awarded
91 - This will be the 91st graduating class for Gavilan College!
81 - Students graduating with honors
13 - Certificates of Proficiency to be awarded
11 - GECA seniors who will receive a degree or certificate from Gavilan College, earned while in high school.
8 - new members of the Rho Alpha Mu honor society
4 - number of tickets to graduation issued to each graduate

Gavilan College graduation, by the names:
Keynote / Alumni speaker: San Benito County Sheriff Darren Thompson, Born in Santa Cruz, Darren Thompson attended community colleges began his higher education at Cabrillo College and transferred to Gavilan College to study Criminal Justice. At the age of 23, Darren was hired by the Watsonville Police Department. For
23 years, Darren filled a number of positions, where ultimately in 2007, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant. Darren served as Lieutenant for three years where he oversaw the Operations Support Division within the Watsonville Police
Department. During the Spring of 2010, Darren campaigned for the office of San Benito County Sheriff, and was elected Sheriff in November 2010. Sheriff Thompson has completed 2,400 hours of California Peace Officer
Standards and Training (POST) which has earned him his Management Certification. Sheriff Thompson is married and a father of 3 children – 2 of which are current Gavilan College Students.

Honorary Award Recipient - Elvira Zaragoza Robinson: Elvira Zaragoza Robinson served on the Gavilan College Board of Trustees from 1990 to 2010. She also served as chairperson of the College’s Latino Advisory Committee from 1989 to 2010. Recognized for her service and community involvement numerous times, she was honored with Woman of the Year Awards from the 28th Assembly District (2011), the San Benito County LULAC (2000) and the Santa Clara County Human Relations Commission (1994). Active at the national level, Elvira has served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention on many occasions. She served for 11 years as the first Latina Deputy District Attorney in Santa Clara County. Her community involvement has included serving as the Director for the Women’s Legal Clinic in Gilroy, coordinator of the Bethany Youth Empowerment Center in Gilroy and on the Board of Directors for El Teatro Campesino. Elvira is a 1975 graduate of the Santa Clara University Law School. An attorney for 35 years, she currently is in criminal private practice.

GECA graduates: Kimberly Andrade, Fernando Chavez, Jeannine Gonzalez, Taylor Hadnot, Fabiola Hinostroza Martinez, Estefany Llamas, Oscar F. Leon, Angela S. Mannino, Jeanette Martinez, Sara Ochoa Pineda, Haley Larynn Bass

Rho Alpha Mu inductees: Eva Arizmendi, Jessica Castello, Jamie Chambers, David DiDenti, Sara Frias, Courtney Hoyland, Terrence Meighen, Jesus DeHaro

Program: The program will begin with a processional as president Steven M. Kinsella leads the Board of Trustees, administrators, faculty and Class of 2011 down Sycamore Lane, across the campus bridge, and into the gymnasium.
Joseph Hayes, Incoming ASB President, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and student Alx Bradley  will sing the National Anthem. Dr. Kinsella will introduce the ceremony, and Associated Student Body President Mitzi Vasquez will welcome family and friends. Alumnus Darren Thompson will deliver the Keynote Address. Instructors Leah Halper and Jessica Gatewood will present Faculty Scholarships to outstanding students. Instructor and Rho Alpha Mu advisor Jennifer Nari will welcome honor society Rho Alpha Mu graduates and transferring students  into life membership in the state honor society.
Laura A. Perry, Esq., President of the Gavilan College Board of Trustees, will present an honorary degree to Elvira Robinson.
Dr. Kathleen Rose,  Vice President of Instruction, will present the Outstanding Scholar Award.Dr. Kinsella will then confer degrees and certificates, assisted by Faculty-of-the-Year honorees Leslie Tenney and Darlene Del Carmen.
The Cosmetology club will serve as Student Marshals, leading the graduates in the processional. The Associated Student Body will host a reception directly after the ceremony in the Student Center for all of the graduates, staff, and their guests.
Admission to graduation is invitation-only due to limited seating.

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Last modified: August 17, 2011
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800