A total of 98 students were recognized for completing the Adult Basic Education Program at Southwest Texas Junior College, during the 18th Regional GED Commencement Ceremony held July 21 in Uvalde.
SWTJC Associate Dean of Workforce Training and Adult Basic Education Romelia Aranda was master of ceremonies at the event in the Matthews Student Center Ballroom. After a short welcome, Aranda introduced Eagle Pass graduate Juan Jose Trevino who delivered the invocation.
Keynote speaker was Hector Gonzales, Ph.D., SWTJC president-elect. A 1988 graduate of Uvalde High School, Gonzales earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Angelo State University in 1992. He went on to receive his master's degree from Sul Ross State University in 1996 and his certified public accountant license in 1997.
Earlier this year, Gonzales was awarded his Ph.D. in education, with a concentration in organizational leadership, from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. Gonzales has served in a variety of capacities at SWTJC. He is currently the dean of instructional services and chief financial officer at the college. The SWTJC Board of Trustees named Gonzales president-elect in March.
"This day is about you," Gonzales told the graduates. "I know it wasn't easy, but you made it and for that we applaud you."
President-elect Gonzales encouraged the graduates to expand their future opportunities through education. "I know most of you have jobs and families, so you will probably have to continue your education on a part-time basis," Gonzales said. "Part-time is fine. That's how I did it and you can, too, but the important thing is keep going."
Gonzales concluded his comments with his wish for the new graduates. "May the doors that open to you bring you success, happiness and fulfillment," he said.
Following Gonzales' comments, associate dean Aranda gave special recognition to Flor Cruz of Del Rio and Jessica Garza of Eagle Pass for being the first GED graduates to complete their instruction through the new online program now available at SWTJC.
Aranda and Gonzales presented certificates of completion to all graduates in attendance. Graduates were from SWTJC Adult Basic Education sites in Hondo, Carrizo Springs, Crystal City, Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Uvalde.
The ceremony concluded with the benediction given by graduate Aurelio Wehle of Del Rio. Following the commencement ceremony, a reception was held in the Matthews Student Center for graduates, their families and guests.
Welcome to Southwest Texas Junior College, one of the top ten community colleges in the United States! More →