Graduation is one of the most important milestones in the academic journey of students. The entire campus community looks forward to the commencement ceremony with family and friends of the graduating class. Because of the extraordinary circumstances due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Columbia College cancelled its 51st Commencement Ceremony following the guidelines issued by the California Department of Public Health. Each and every student graduating this year will have the opportunity to return to the campus and walk formally with the class of 2021 next Spring. Although this graduating class will not get to walk in the traditional graduation ceremony, the college’s Graduation Committee has created packages for each graduating student to include a congratulatory letter from the college president, a graduation cap, tassel, cords and/or sashes for special program involvement, leadership, and/or high GPAs.
Since the state declared the stay at home orders, Columbia College transformed its entire operation to the remote learning mode. The class of 2020 showed exemplary resilience to overcome the unexpected challenges and completed their degrees and/or certificates. Their sheer determination and ability to adjust to a fast evolving environment is a testament to the fact that they are well prepared to accept any obstacle that might come their way in the years to come.
Among the graduating class, 81 Associate of Arts Degrees will be conferred, 92 Associate of Arts Transfer Degrees, 165 Associate of Science Degrees, and 39 Associate of Science Transfer Degrees. Sixty-seven students will graduate with distinction (cumulative grade point averages of 3.75 or better) and 51 with honors (between 3.5 and 3.74 grade point averages).
Local graduates include: Jacob Alvarado of Escalon; Nastasia Sweet of Knights Ferry; Rebecca Smith of Riverbank.
Oakdale graduates include: Laci Blount, Lisa Canales, Brooke Cardoza, Matthew Collier, Zackary Coviello-Miller, Mercades DeGroot, Kaitlyn Diskson, Steven Gazdik, Kaitlyn Hopkins, Melissa Koppinger, Katie Liukkonen, Ella Nielsen, Devin Odom, Danikajo Parker, Carley Ross, Theodore Rossier, Lena Shulke, Zachary Sears, Lane Trapp and Christina Vermeulen. Those Oakdale graduates who will receive more than one degree are Lisa Canales, Devin Odom, Carley Ross and Lena Schulke.
“We at Columbia College are honored and humbled to be a part of your academic journey,” said Dr. Santanu Bandyopadhyay, President of Columbia College, to the graduating class. “I wish I had the opportunity to shake your hands and congratulate you personally on your significant accomplishment. I would love to see you back at the graduation ceremony next year.”
This year, Columbia College’s Graphics Media Coordinator, Molly Hart created a special frame that the Class of 2020 can upload to their Facebook page; students can take a picture of themselves in their cap, tassel, and cords and post it on Facebook for family and friends to see.