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Columbia College Hosts Drive-Thru Commencement Ceremony
columbia college graphic

Several students from the local area received recognition as they graduated from Columbia College on April 30.

Officials reported that Columbia College hosted a drive-thru commencement ceremony for its Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 graduates on Friday, April 30, at 4 p.m. The drive-thru experience allowed graduates and their families to be on the Columbia College campus while adhering to Tuolumne County’s health and safety protocols and providing each student with recognition.

Graduates and their families (one car per graduate) were allowed to drive through campus in their car to certain “checkpoints” and arrive at their final destination where graduates were able to briefly exit their cars and walk across the stage to receive their diploma from Columbia College Interim President, Dr. G.H. Javaheripour and other distinguished guests. Faculty and staff cheered their graduates on along the path. The commencement ceremony was live streamed through the YCCD YouTube channel beginning.

Because of the extraordinary circumstances last year due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Columbia College cancelled its 51st Commencement Ceremony. The Class of 2020 was invited to come back this year and participate in the drive-thru ceremony should they choose to do so.

Among the graduating class of 2021, 101 Associate of Art Degrees were conferred, 89 Associate of Arts for Transfer Degrees, 169 Associate of Science Degrees, 41 Associate of Science for Transfer Degrees, and 91 Certificates of Achievement. Also, 75 students graduated with distinction (cumulative grade point averages of 3.75 or better) and 58 with honors (between 3.5 and 3.74 grade point averages).

Following are the local students and their hometown communities, provided by Columbia College.



Michael Stime


Knights Ferry

Kaeli Martinelli-Sweet



Jocelyn Burke, Graduating with Honors; Jesse Chavez, Jesus Felix, Ty Fuentes, Steven Gazdik, Graduating with Distinction; Julianna Jackson, Jasmine Ledesma, Samuel Medlin, Cassidy Pricolo, Jordan Proch, Paige Rodrigues, Alejandro Rodriguez, Emily Silva Rodriguez, Yesenia Silva Rodriguez, Cristina Verduzco, Graduating with Distinction; Hannah Wessling, Jodie Whitley, Graduating with Distinction.



Rhapsody Cattedra, Francesca Immediato.