Hundreds of American River College students marked the end of their community college education Wednesday when they participated in the annual commencement ceremony at Beaver Stadium.
The Class of 2015 includes 1,879 students, of whom 60 percent are women, according to ARC President Thomas Greene.
“Every exam that we’ve taken was worth it. All the loss of sleep and late night studying was worth it. All the Starbucks and energy drinks we consumed were worth it,” said graduate Aundrey Mosley in the student commencement address.
“The road to glory was not an easy task. Some had the challenges of going to school while working a full time job. Others traveled way across town on the bus just to make it to class every day … but whatever your story is today, know this: that in spite of the obstacles that may have confronted us, through it all, we prevailed.”
Tamara Dunning, who this year had been acting as ASB Student Senate president, spoke of her pride in receiving an associate degree in legal assisting.
“We have one thing that connects us and that’s that tonight we become college graduates,” said Dunning. “They said I had a better chance of winning the Super Bowl than of ever getting a college degree.”
The ceremony opened as members of the faculty and students walked to their designated seats as the ARC Concert and Symphonic bands played excerpts from film scores by John Williams and “Pomp and Circumstance,” a traditional song played at commencement ceremonies.
Several ARC and Los Rios officials spoke before the conferment of degrees to the graduates. Thomas Greene presented the graduating class to Dustin Johnson, the president of the Los Rios Board of Trustees.
“With the authority vested in me by the Los Rios Community College District board of trustees, I declare all eligible candidates to be elevated to the degree of associate in arts or associate in science,” said Johnson. “As tradition dictates, you may now move your tassel from your right side to your left.”
The graduates processed single-file to the stage, where they received a holder for their degrees, which they will receive in the mail.
Some of the graduates raised their arms in celebration. Others kissed their loved ones and waved to family and friends seated in the stands.
Tanishq Abraham, age 11, was the youngest of the graduates. He has gained notoriety as a child genius and as a member of MENSA, a society for individuals with an IQ at or above the 98th percentile.