Commencement Honors Graduates
On June 14, Umpqua Community College hosted its 49th annual commencement ceremony, honoring the efforts of 493 students to earn a total of 549 degrees and certificates. Of those, 275 graduates walked in the evening ceremony, which was held in UCC’s outdoor Swanson Amphitheatre.
The youngest graduate was 18. The oldest was 69. Sixty-three percent were women. Forty-six percent earned a transfer degree, while 54 percent earned a career/technical degree or certificate. Among the graduates, there was at least one married couple and one uncle and niece.
Commencement speaker was Melissa Osborne, a 2010 UCC graduate, who went on to Reed College, where she recently finished her bachelor’s degree in sociology. Osborne is going to the University of Chicago this fall to earn her doctorate. Like many UCC students, Osborne’s journey was full of challenges. She dropped out of high school at age 15. She didn’t enroll in UCC until she was 28.
“I knew I needed something more in my life and that was an education,” she told the graduates. “It paid off more than I would have imagined…I took a chance my future might be brighter, and so did all of you, and that’s what I consider success.”
During the ceremony, the Outstanding Faculty Awards were given to business instructor Bill Armstrong (full-time) and criminal justice instructor Steve Cable (part-time). Richard Wright was named winner of the Harry Jacoby Award, which is UCC’s annual student of the year award. Wright, who made an emotional speech, received $1,000 from the UCC Foundation and will have his name engraved on a plaque on display at UCC.
The 2013-14 academic year at UCC kicks off June 24 with the start of summer term classes. Registration for both summer and fall classes is now open.