2020 Opening Week – BC coming together

Mango is my favorite fruit. Growing up we had 5 mango trees at home. The last week in July, my daughter got me a box of ripe mangoes. They were just fabulous…. the best I have tasted after coming to the US.

I learned from her that mango farming is gaining momentum in California. Check out this article from Sunset Magazine called “Mango Madness,” about how Howard Marguleas successfully brought a thriving mango crop to California. While everyone told him he couldn’t grow mangoes in California, he refused to accept that and managed to find a variety that grew beautifully in the desert of the Coachella Valley. It was a great reminder that even when we are facing obstacles and naysayers, sometimes a little creativity, innovation, and perseverance can lead to great results. And now, my hope is that mangoes will become more of a common fruit here in sunny California.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, August 22, 2020…a great day to be a Renegade

Opening Day

This week we moved our traditional Opening Day celebration to a week-long, virtual format. We met on Zoom on Monday and Tuesday. Technical issues prevented us from being able to share a production on Wednesday – but the Opening Day planning team was able to quickly find a solution, and we moved to a new format on Thursday.

We will be sharing the final pieces of programming over two days this coming week, on Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00 p.m.. I’m so proud of our team for always being able to pivot and adapt to any circumstances. We truly are #RenegadeStrong and #InItTogether

We are still working on getting all of last week’s programming uploaded to the Bakersfield College website, but I wanted to share this sneak peak of Monday’s welcome from our fabulous emcees: Todd Coston, Tommy Tunson, Norma Rojas, and Manny Mourtzanos.

New Student Convocation

This week, Bakersfield College’s annual New Student Convocation moved online.

Thank you to Student Life Director Nicky Damania and everyone whose hard work helped BC continue the tradition of welcoming new students into the Renegade Family. We are BC!

If you missed Tuesday’s presentation, you can catch the entire video on the BCSGA YouTube channel:


All the videos from the special 2020 106th Commencement Televised Event can be seen at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/admissions/2020-commencement-ceremony.

State Senator Shannon Grove addressed our graduates:

Throughout the evening, the production spotlighted various programs at Bakersfield College. One of those was the Public Safety pathway:

We also shared this spotlight on the Early College program:

Speaking of Early College, I’m closing out sharing the Early College Celebration videos this week. I have saved our student speakers for last.

Logan Stout was the student speaker from Wonderful College Prep Academy:

And Nancy Gutierrez was the student speaker from Wasco High School:

You can find out more about the Early College program on the Bakersfield College website.

#GoodTrouble: Celebrating the Life of John Lewis

I am continuing to share videos from the July 29 #GoodTrouble production in partnership between Bakersfield College and Danny Morrison.

Today’s videos are a reflection of the life and legacy of Mr. Lewis.

Cindy Pollard:

Traco Matthews shared John Lewis’ speech on the 50th anniversary of the Selma March:

You can learn more about the production, and see all the videos, on the Bakersfield College website.

#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation

Continuing to share with you videos from Bakersfield College’s #LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation series of events.

Today, I am sharing three videos from the June 17 production.

Christina Springstead, owner of Ideal Exec Business Consulting and Support Services:

Michael Bowers, Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations at Centric Health California:

NaTesha Johnson, President of Upside Productions:

You can find more information and an archive of all the videos on the #LightACandle web page.

Spotted on Social Media

Performing Arts Department Chair Jennifer Garrett‘s family has a new puppy, and I loved getting to see new pictures of Remi this week:

Check out this great photo of Astronomy Professor and Planetarium Director Nick Strobel‘s beautiful family:

Rural Initiatives Executive Director Abel Guzman shared this photo of his team getting ready for the new semester:


Guillory Headed to University of LA College of Divinity

Congrats to our newest Renegade to make the announcement of signing to continue their academic and athletic career to the four-year school level. This week it was Michael Guillory from Men’s Basketball. Michael is headed to University of Los Angeles College of Divinity who were national champions of the Association of Christian College Athletics (ACCA) with a 30-1 record. We are excited for Michael and know he will do well at his next stop!


That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

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2 thoughts on “2020 Opening Week – BC coming together

  1. Nick Strobel August 22, 2020 at 11:40 pm Reply

    The beautiful ones in my family rightfully take center stage in the picture (and I’m thankful for that). Ready to go for the fall semester online!

  2. Michael O’Doherty August 23, 2020 at 7:37 am Reply

    Great work on the welcoming to the new year.
    Way to adapt, and loved the video. Star-Spangled from the choir was a wonderful surprise 😄

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