Weather permitting, Southwest Texas Junior College will hold its 66th Annual Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Uvalde Honey Bowl.
Derek Sandoval, associate vice president for the SWTJC Del Rio campus, will be master of ceremonies at this year's event.
SWTJC Uvalde student Thelma Martinez of Crystal City, president of the Catholic Club, will deliver the invocation. The singing of The National Anthem will be led by SWTJC Vice President for Academic Affairs Mark Underwood, Ph.D., and his wife Diane Underwood, an instructor at SWTJC.
Ismael Sosa, Jr., Ph.D., SWTJC president, will introduce college trustees and honored guests, and SWTJC President-Elect Hector Gonzales, Ph.D., will introduce the keynote speaker.
Pete P. Gallego, U.S. Congressman for the 23rd District of Texas, will deliver the keynote address. A native of Alpine, TX, Gallego served over 20 years as a state representative before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012.
SWTJC Vice President for Student Affairs Blaine Bennett, Ph.D., will present the graduating class and SWTJC trustee Maria Elena Lara will confer degrees and certificates. Lara, along with board president Rodolfo R. Flores, vice president Dr. Harry O. Watkins, secretary Dr. Antonio H. Rivera, and trustees Anita Shackelford, and Tony Moreno, will award diplomas and certificates.
Honor graduates and outstanding students in individual technical programs will be recognized by Mark E. Underwood, SWTJC Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Jason Schlichting of Reagan Wells, a student at SWTJC Uvalde, will be organist for the ceremony.
Friends and family are not allowed on the field or track until after the ceremony is over.
"We will have a photographer on hand taking photos of the graduates as they receive their diplomas," Barker said. "After the ceremony is over everyone is welcome to come on the field and take additional photos."
In case of rain, the ceremony will be moved to the La Forge Hall gymnasium on the SWTJC Uvalde campus, located at 2401 Garner Field Road.
Following the ceremony, graduates and their guests are invited to a reception in the Matthews Student Center on the SWTJC Uvalde campus.
This year's graduation program lists a total of 520 students who will be receiving associate degrees. An additional 268 students will receive certificates in various technical programs.
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