Tag Archives: Pat Smith

Wrapping up Fall 2019

Pearl Harbor Anniversary Sunrise. Dec 7, 2019.

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 7, 2019… A historic day for America. A day of reflection for me, an immigrant to this great country. Proud to be an American. Proud to be a Renegade.

I searched my blog for “Pearl Harbor” and found this post, published on July 30, 2017 when I was in Hawaii. It brought back great memories on my visit to Pearl Harbor. Check it out https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/07/30/live-love-ohana-aloha/

The video clip of Franklin Roosevelt addressing the nation after the Pearl Harbor attack (see blog link above) reminded me of the other President Roosevelt whose biography I am reading — Edmund Morris’ The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, a remarkable piece of work done by a great biographer of a great leader. Thought I would share a tidbit on Theodore Roosevelt’s influence positioning the US as a naval powerhouse.

Teddy Roosevelt was only 23 when he published his first book The Naval War of 1812. This piece of work and his continued interest in naval matters resulted in Theodore Roosevelt playing a critical role in the Spanish-American war, resulting in the US displacing the Spanish in Cuba, as well as in the US gaining exclusive use of Pearl Harbor initially in the late 1800s, leading to the establishment of a full fledged naval station after 1908.

Enjoying BC Choir Carols in December

December at BC is a just a great month. We have so many music performances where our choir fills our hearts with the spirit of Christmas with fabulous music. In my four December blog posts, I will include a sampling of their music to bring joy to your hearts as they do mine. Here is the first installment from the BSO-BC annual Home for the Holidays event at the Rabobank on December 6, 2019. More on that in my next blog.

We Need a Little Christmas — BSO and BC Home for the Holidays Concert Dec 6, 2019
Henerot Halalu BSO and BC Home for the Holidays Carl Topilow on the Clarinet

Jean Fuller Podcast

“Hello Bakersfield” is one of my recommended podcasts because it spotlights local people doing wonderful things in our community, as well as highlighting the culture, traditions, and positive happenings in our growing town. Recently, “Hello Bakersfield” co-hosts Andrae Gonzales (Bakersfield City Councilman), Rachel Magnus, Jesus Gonzalez, and Carla Barrientos chatted with Jean Fuller, who many know as our retired State Senate and Republican Leader Emeritus in the California Legislature.

Since her retirement, our campus has been fortunate to have her attention as she has become an ambassador for educational attainment in our rural communities. She is a leading advocate of the Early College Program, which aims to provide a pathway to college for our rural high school students, with hopes that by the time they graduate from high school, they will have earned a certificate or degree from our college. It’s an innovative program that is a part of a national conversation to increase college attainment. The need is even greater in Kern County.

Olivia Garcia and Jean Fuller

Do listen and hear what Jean Fuller has to say about Early College.

Employee Holiday Lunch Reception

BC faculty and staff gathered in the Renegade Room on Wednesday for this year’s Employee Holiday Reception.  Guests were able to enjoy some quality time with their colleagues, as well as live music from our amazing music department faculty and students.

Manny de los Santos put together this great highlight video that showcases the event.

The menu consisted of items courtesy of Chef Alex, Chef Suzanne, Chef Anna, and our fabulous Culinary Arts students.  Some of the most popular items were deviled eggs, Chinese chicken salad, stuffed mushrooms, and bread pudding.  Check out the gallery below for some great photos of the hard-working staff and delicious food.

Seeing all of the smiling faces at the reception really warmed my heart. We truly are a Renegade family.

This event was made possible by the Management Association, BC Foundation, CCA, CSEA, and individual donors.  Another special thanks goes out to Barnes & Noble, BCSGA, BC Athletics, CTE, EOPS/NextUP/Care, Loma Linda Restaurant, and the Renegade Room. I’d also like to thank our Holiday Party Planners for putting on this event, including Judy Ahl, Kristin Rabe, Leah Carter, Pat Smith, Susan Pinza, and Tracy Lovelace.  Happy holidays, everyone!

Tom Gelder’s Retirement Party and Foundation Board Holiday Dinner

The annual BC Foundation Board Holiday Dinner was held on Thursday evening in the Renegade Room. The group of sixty was entertained by a performance by the choir, and the singers enveloped the room in beautiful renditions of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Jingle Bells”.

The students of the Culinary Arts program prepared and served a delicious meal of Beef Wellington and a trilogy of cheesecakes for dessert. The Foundation dinner is the final exam of the semester for the students in the program.

The night was made even more special as Tom Gelder was celebrated for his five and a half years as Executive Director of the Bakersfield College Foundation.

Foundation’s chairman of the board, Jeff Bell, spoke about Tom’s time with the Foundation and the connection that was developed through working together. And board member, Rick Kreiser and Corny Rodriguez roasted Tom about his golf game not being up to par. After comments from Jennifer Achan about the rivalry of their Michigan home town teams, Tom stood on his chair to show off his Michigan State, winning team socks.

Tom and I worked very closely on the two-year campaign for Measure J and the various Sterling Silver events that we hosted over the five years of Tom’s tenure as Exec Director of the Foundation. I described Tom’s writing as the coming together of the clear thinking of a Thurgood Marshall and the character descriptions and storytelling of a Charles Dickens.

Tom Burke, Kevin McCarthy, Jerry Ludeke, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder
Tom Burke, Kevin McCarthy, Jerry Ludeke, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder

Manny de los Santos sent over this little video of Tom Gelder’s retirement party. Great work, Manny!

Want to see more from the party? Check out SmugMug for the full photo gallery of the party.

Patriots From the Barrio

Author Dave Gutierrez shared passages out of his book “Patriots From the Barrio” in the Levan Center on Tuesday as part of the final Vet Month event before the Veterans’ Resource Center unveiling next week.

“Patriots From the Barrio” tells the story of Company E, a United States Army combat unit from World War II made up entirely of Mexican-Americans from the barrios of South Texas. Dave’s relative Ramon Gutierrez served with Company E and was awarded the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts for his efforts. Actor Wilmer Valderrama recently purchased the film rights to “Patriots from the Barrio” and plans on shooting a TV series based on the story.

I’m very happy that the Levan Center helped put on this event, and grateful for Dave Gutierrez coming to speak and sign books for students. Lastly, I would like to thank our BC student veterans for all their hard work and sacrifice. I hope to see you all at the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center unveiling on December 10.

Arun Gandhi Video

Bakersfield College is fortunate to have talented faculty who connect our students with opportunities to develop their skills and talents. One of those faculty Jeff Huston, connected his students with our marketing department to experience on-campus events and activities to develop their video skills. Through this connection, Monika Scott invited two students to BC’s event with Arun Gandhi in September.

Arun Gandhi speaks at Delano High School in September 2019.

Mario Esquer captured the special event through a short, engaging, and video. So proud of Mario’s work. Check out the video.

Burritos with BCSGA Prez Pulido

Burritos! Burritos! Burritos! On Thursday, BCSGA hosted another fun Burritos with Prez Pulido event in Levinson Hall. This event brought students together to discuss what is going on at BC. Director of Student Organizations Samuel Schissler hosted the event.

The meeting gave students the chance to voice their concerns and get questions answered about parking, the health center, student constitutions, Distinguished Speakers, and the new Veterans Resource Center. Schissler made sure to acknowledge the students’ opinions and speak on behalf of BCSGA to address their needs.

Holiday Ceramics Sale

On Wednesday, students in our ceramics classes displayed their projects in the Fine Arts building as part of a sale held at the end of every semester. Students and members of the community were invited to tour the facility and purchase cups, bowls, sculptures, and other materials created by BC students.

Fine Arts professor Darrin Ekern said the overwhelming majority of the projects made by students are food safe; however, the pieces developed using a Japanese technique known as Raku firing were not food safe. Beautifully-decorated figures were displayed on the shelves next to hand-sculpted plates, bowls, and cups, as well as ornamental vases, necklaces and pendants.

Thank you to the BC Art Department, professor Ekern, and our Fine Arts students for putting their work on display for the Ceramics Holiday Sale.

New Employee Orientation

Our December New Employee Orientation included four new employees: Jacqueline Petrini (Executive Secretary to Dean Mourtzanos), Sabrina Aguilar (Program Manager for Early College and Inmate Education), Maribel Lopez (Teacher’s Assistant in Delano), and Cristal Rios (Budget Analyst).  These new Renegades were welcomed into the BC family by our New Employee Orientation Team of Michele Bresso, Todd Coston, Dena Rhoades, and Pam Rivers).

Our newest Renegades, left to right: Jacqueline Petrini, Sabrina Aguilar, Maribel Lopez, and Cristal Rios

They had the chance to hear about technology use, the culture of BC, emergency preparedness, Human Resources, and much more. They ate at the Huddle and ended their day with a tour by Todd Coston. Welcome to the team, everyone!

Renegade Football Players Help the Homeless

Renegade Football’s Fano Maui, Justin Harrington, Larry Harrington, and Darius Richardson helped serve the homeless at The Mission at Kern County on Thanksgiving, and even snagged a picture with Mayor Karen Goh. It’s great to see these student-athletes choosing to serve the community during the holidays.

The best thing about this is that these young men did this on their own, out of the kindness of their hearts.  Pearl Urena happened to overhear them talking about it one day and volunteered to go with them.  Way to go, Renegades!

Athletics Updates From This Past Week

Check out the links below for the latest scores and updates.

Football Highlight Video

We had many spectacular plays made throughout the season by our Renegade Football team. Enjoy this movie edited by BC media student Jacob Amado, who was there to capture the action on the sideline throughout the season.

Next Level Renegades

Congrats to three of our Renegade student-athletes for committing to continue their academic and athletic careers at the next level. Zach Hartsfield from Renegade Football has committed to play for Eastern Michigan University located in Ypsilanti, MI. From Renegade Women’s Soccer, Rhyan Acosta has committed to play at Cal State Bakersfield and Emma Gross has committed to Fresno Pacific.

Congratulations to Zach, Rhyan, and Emma!

The Sights and Sounds of BC

Look who came to visit….

Bessie and Neo are best buddies. When Bessie visits it’s like summer camp. Not pictured is when Bessie rushes Neo in a mock attack, like in an old Pink Panther movie when Inspector Clouseau is surprise attacked by his assistant Cato and chaos ensues…

This week, the weather cooled down a bit, and the arts were alive and well at Bakersfield College with the annual Panorama Creative Music Summit, the opening reception of the latest gallery in the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery, and a special faculty music recital.

Remembering Cokie Roberts

Pioneering broadcaster Cokie Roberts passed away at the age of 75 on Tuesday. A correspondent for NPR and ABC News since the late 1970s, Roberts paved the way for thousands of women to become broadcast journalists at a time when women weren’t fully integrated into the newsroom. 

Ms. Roberts in 1979. She was a radio correspondent for CBS before joining NPR in the late 1970s. Photo Credit: Stan Barouh/NPR

Roberts was the daughter of Louisiana Congressman Hale Boggs, and her mother Lindy Boggs served in his place when he died in a plane crash in 1972. After covering Washington politics for almost 40 years, she would put her encyclopedic knowledge of American history into the best-selling books “Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation” and “Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington”.

Roberts won three Emmys during her career as a broadcaster, and she was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.

Health, Education, and Learning – HEAL

Bakersfield College Delano Campus hosted educators and health community representatives to plan a course of action to improve the health, well being, and workforce opportunities for residents of rural Central Valley from Bakersfield to Merced.

Group Photo from the HEAL Collaborative gathering this week

The vehicle for this work is the formation of Rural HEAL—Health, Education, Equity, Economy and Learning—a collaboration of partners working to improve the lives of rural residents. Partners pictured here represent The Housing, Opportunity and Place (HOPe) Lab  at U.C. Merced, UC San Francisco at Fresno, ​Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State, Central Valley medical professionals and Bakersfield College health and workforce training programs.

Other HEAL partners are healthcare providers, elected officials, non-profit agencies and community leaders. Addressing poverty and health needs of our rural communities takes a big step forward on November 22 when Bakersfield College co-hosts the Rural Poverty and Health Equity Summit along with the National Academy of Sciences.

The inaugural meeting of the HEAL Collaborative included:

  • Dr. Kathy Murphy 
  • Dr. Irene Yen, UC Merced
  • Dr. Serena Yang, UCSF Fresno *
  • Sean Tan, UC Merced
  • Dr. Tania Pacheco-Werner, CVHPI
  • Mayra Lemus Rangel, CVHPI

and from Bakersfield College Norma Rojas-Mora, Dr. Michelle Bresso, Cindy Collier, Dr. Charles Daramola, Abel Guzman, and Janalynn Castillo.

Abel Guzman shares why this collaborative is so important

BC Welcomes CSUB to Campus!

On Friday morning BC welcomed a team of administrators and faculty from CSUB to the Panorama Campus for a tour and to gather the planning group. This group was formed last April to enable seamless communication and collaboration between the campuses as we work together and plan for the colocation for BC at CSUB.

CSUB visits BC. Check out my t-shirt

The planning group has seven individual workgroups that are co-chaired by both a CSUB faculty member and BC faculty member. These groups will identify various areas where we can collaborate to benefit and serve students.

Zav Dadabhoy, Vikash Lakhani, Vernon Harper, Billie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian

Special thanks to Vernon Harper of CSUB who led his team to BC, Todd Coston and Tamara Baker for the tour of the BC campus, the chefs at the Renegade Room for the delicious breakfast, and to Jessica Wojtysiak for coordinating the visit on behalf of BC.

I particularly enjoyed seeing Dr. David Gove after so many years. David is a math faculty at CSUB and seeing him brought back so many memories when I was a math faculty at BC and we did many joint projects with CSUB.

Panorama Music Summit

The Panorama Creative Music Summit made its way back to Bakersfield College with four days of music and workshops. Hosted by BC’s Jazz Studies and Commercial Music programs, the annual summit is where local performers and professional musicians can come together with BC students, faculty and alumni to perform their music.

This is a great opportunity for artists to perform and collaborate other musicians and composers such as BC alum Omar Murillo, Kris Tiner and guitarist Mike Baggetta.

Jeff Ardray performed on Monday

We are proud of our former student Omar Murillo, who led and composed a 13-piece ensemble with great original pieces including one piece he wrote for his mother. Also on Monday, talented local artist Jeff Ardray was one of the performers on stage.

On Tuesday, BC jazz students got to sit in on an improvisation workshop and guest lecture from guitarist Mike Baggetta. Baggetta, a well-established guitar player from Knoxville, Tenessee, performs with BC professor Kris Tiner as Tin/Bag, and he lit up the room whenever he picked up the guitar.

The performances on Wednesday night featured Commercial Music students performing original songs alongside songwriter Emily Sprague, whose music was featured in Beyonce’s “Homecoming” documentary. LA-based quartet Kidi Band closed out Wednesday night’s performance with their interpretations of West African pop music. You can listen to the Kidi Band on YouTube if you missed them on campus!

This event was a success with great performances. Thank you Lydia Jennings Finlinson and Burns L. Finlinson Endowment of the Bakersfield College Foundation, as well as our other generous sponsors and all the attendees.

An incredibly talented duo, Kris Tiner and Josh Ottum

Wylie and May Louise Jones Art Gallery

BC’s Art Department held the opening reception for the photography exhibition “Things That Will Make You a Man” on Thursday at the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery in the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library to welcome Santa Fe, New Mexico photographer and videographer, Sage Paisner. “Things That Will Make You A Man” is Paisner’s latest project on the personal and cultural stories of masculinity within the Latinx community.

Jeff Huston and Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Art faculty Jeffrey Huston and Ronnie Wrest hosted the exhibition and presented Paisner’s work to the BC community, which conveys Paisner’s interpretation of “What makes masculinity?”. Special thanks to these art faculty and BC’s Art Department for organizing the exhibition. It’s amazing to have artists like Sage Paisner present his work to our students and the community.

Faculty Music Recital

On Thursday evening, BC’s Performing Arts held the first Faculty Recital with the inaugural debut of BC’s new Steinway Concert Grand Piano! Also want to do a special THANK YOU to the talented and dedicated Patrick Bender who was everywhere. And thank you to Dr. Jen Garrett who brings music and positive energy to our community.

Dr. John Gerhold
Christina Parnell…. what a voice!
Scott Dirkse playing Rachmaninoff

CPR Training on Campus

Bakersfield College held CPR, AED & First Aid Certification Course for students that would like to be more prepared, equipping students with the tools to confidently react during emergencies. On Friday in Levinson Hall, students got hands-on training lead by professionals Matthew Rodriguez, the senior public safety officer at the Delano Campus, and Freddie Rodriguez, senior officer at the Weill Institute downtown.

Using a mannequin, Matthew Rodriguez demonstrated proper CPR hand placement and compression techniques. Those who attending earned certification in CPR, AED, First Aid. Here’s a great picture of Dr. Nicky Damania who took time out of his busy schedule to participate.

There are other opportunities, and I invite you to enroll in one of the next classes taking place on October 4, November 1, and December 6. Thank you BC’s Campus Safety department for hosting these important learning opportunities.

Seen on TV: Inmate Scholars Program

Last Saturday, Jim Scott‘s KGET Program Kern County In Depth featured Trustee Romeo Agbalog and BC Professors Bryan Hirayama and Pat Smith as they told the story of BC’s Inmate Scholars program. I shared recently in my blog that last month BC’s first cohort of 17 Inmate Scholars graduated with an Associates degree in Communication.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Pat Smith, Bryan Hirayama

Seen on TV: BC Professor Allen Bolar

It’s always a joy to see BC faculty participating in the local news broadcasts. This week, political science faculty, @allenbolar was featured on KBAK.

Fun Photos:

Celebrating New Faculty

BC’s newest faculty posed for a group photo with Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, former Congressman and Trustee Bill Thomas, Mayor Goh and myself. What a great time to be a Renegade!

DWK Event

BC was represented at the Women in Politics event last weekend — Dean Andrea Thorson, Kylie Swanson, Chris Cruz-Boone, Kristen Mercer, Steve Watkin and many others. From the community, Congressman TJ Cox and his wife Kathy Murphy, Leticia Perez, Katie Hall, Jan Graves, and Debra Thorson.

Mariachi Girl

Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez shared fun photos from Mariachi Girl at CSUB’s Dore Theater last week. BC is proud to be a sponsor of the event which Corny tells me was “just outstanding.”

L.U.P.E. Cupcake Sale

On Tuesday the Latinos Unidos Por Educación (LUPE) were fundraising outside the Gym, selling cupcakes to help with the activities that this student organization puts on throughout the year.

BC’s IT Department visits BCSW

The IT team from Bakersfield College led by Todd Coston and Brett Redd visited the location of BC SouthWest this week.

VRC Signage

What a beautiful sight at BC this week!

New faculty seminar

Renegade of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (9/8-9/14) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

  • Kennedy Jimenez, Women’s Golf – Kennedy helped lead the Renegades to a fourth place finish in conference play at Santa Barbara Golf Club on 9/9. Kennedy’s efforts have placed her in 19th position overall and the team in fourth place in conference standings.
  • Daniel Schoene, Wrestling – Daniel collected three pins over the weekend in leading the team to a 3-1 finish at the BC Dual Tournament on (9/14) and a 42-3 win over Victor Valley on Friday (9/13).

Men’s Soccer at the Classic Car Show

Our Renegade Men’s Soccer team spent their Saturday morning helping out at the Classic Car Show put on by the Alzheimer’s Association at Brookdale Riverwalk. The entire team took turns with the wheel chair push, the wheel chair car wash and running the BBQ. Thank you coach Vayron Martinez and team for serving our community!

Early College Football Night

Join us at the Inaugural Early College High School Football Night where you can learn more about the Early College resources and programs available at BC. Enjoy free food, games, and giveaways, and root for your Renegades as they take on Golden West College on Sept. 28th.

Check-in on the lawn across from the North entrance of Memorial Stadium for free game tickets and free food. The first 200 high school students will receive free food, and all high school students will receive a free game ticket. Students must bring their current High School ID card to get a game ticket and food. Be sure to show your school pride by wearing your High School colors!

Renegade Report with Men’s Soccer

This week’s edition of the Renegade Report is on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Men’s Soccer team. Coach Vayron Martinez, Goalie Armando Alvarez and Midfielder Christian Gonzalez sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss the season and who they think would play them in the movie of their life.

Renegade Athletics News Roundup

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Wed. 9/25 at 6pm – Volleyball vs. Canyons
  • Fri. 9/27 at 1pm – Cross Country, BC Invite
  • Fri. 9/27 at 1pm – Cross Country, BC Invite
  • Fri. 9/27 at 6pm – Volleyball vs. Glendale
  • Sat. 9/28 at 6pm – Football vs. Golden West

Purchase your tickets to the remaining football games in advance!

To avoid waiting in line on gameday, the athletic department strongly encourages fans to purchase football tickets in advance for the remaining home football games. Tickets can be purchased online through this link:  https://vallitix.com/bc-football/   or by calling 661-322-5200.

On gameday the ticket offices outside of Memorial Stadium will open at 4:30pm with gates opening at 5:00pm. Adult tickets range in price from $9.00 to $14.00. Children (3-12 years)/Student/Senior tickets are $6.00 per ticket. Our next home football game is this coming Saturday 9/28 vs. Golden West. We’ll see you out there!

 

That’s all for now.

Until next time

sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Chicano/Latino Commencement, World’s Got Talent Show: Two Awesome Events, One Super Busy Night

2015 World's Got Talent ShowPart of the pleasure of being a member of the BC family is that there’s always something happening on this campus.

Always. Almost literally.

It is a very rare night during the school year when at least one performance, exhibit or gathering of one kind or another isn’t scheduled in one of our facilities. (The college does quite well given that it was built in the 50’s and is in need of serious infrastructure upgrades and remodeling of classroom and laboratory spaces.)

More and more frequently in looking at our calendar the question isn’t which event to attend. It’s HOW MANY to attend. On any given night, two or more stellar events at various campus venues can be vying for our attention.

Such was the case on May 6th when some of our most crazy-talented BCers were showing their stuff in the Simonsen Performing Arts Center Indoor Theatre stage as part of the final round of The World’s Got Talent Show, hosted by the International Student Organization. Thank you Shohreh Raman!  Meanwhile, just footsteps away in the center’s Outdoor Theatre, family and friends gathered to honor 2015 BC graduates at the beautiful Chicano/Latino commencement ceremony.

Getting emails like this one from BC Criminal Justice faculty member Pat Smith brings it all home…

“I attended the talent show last night and brought a friend of mine who is also a BC graduate and a retired probation officer.  I must tell you that I was so proud of our college students who showed off their talents on stage. It was quite fun and so entertaining.

My alumni friend had not been on the campus lately and was impressed with the indoor and outdoor theater upgrades. She expressed how wonderful BC looked at 100 years old and as we peaked down at the Hispanic commencement that was still going on, she was in awe of the outdoor theater upgrades and stated BC should have more concerts for the public and bring Mentu Buru and jazz artists.  I mentioned there were two recent concerts, but she was not aware of them.  She stated she wants to support BC more after seeing the wonderful campus upgrades…I am so proud to be a Renegade!”

Despite having so many talented students, only one could win it all — and a big congratulations to BC freshman Tristen Bangi for taking home the title with her amazing vocal performance.  The 18-year-old kinesiology major made it to the finals with knockout renditions of Broadway hits “Defying Gravity” from “Wicked” and “On My Own” from “Les Miserables,” then took home the trophy with a bravura diva turn on the Barbra Streisand classic “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl.”

While the talent show was going on inside, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house outside as hundreds came out to celebrate the success of our 2015 Chicano and Latino graduates at an intimate, heartfelt commencement ceremony.

The bilingual ceremony gives the Spanish-speaking family and friends of our Chicano and Latino students the chance to share in the pride and achievement of our amazing graduates. Thank you Corny Rodriguez and Joanne Acosta and the rest of the team for organizing the event.

And a word of advice to anyone attending the ceremony in coming years — bring tissue.  Because it’s impossible not to get emotional hearing stories of perseverance and joy from students who often had to overcome so much just to see a day like this become a reality.

Don’t take my word for it — just watch this fantastic video below from the ceremony by BC videographer supreme Manuel de los Santos.  Manny, u r the best!

A truly magical night on this truly magical campus…