A total of 329 graduates participated in the 67th Annual Southwest Texas Junior College Commencement Ceremony held May 10 before a standing-room-only crowd at the Uvalde Honey Bowl Stadium.
Taking part in the ceremony were December 2013 graduates, May 2014 graduates and August 2014 candidates for graduation.
“It could have been cooler, but considering we had a storm come through the day before, sunny and warm was perfect weather for a commencement ceremony,” said SWTJC Registrar, Luis Fernandez. “This years commencement ceremony ran smoothly and all due to our staff’s hard work. It was a great day.”
A total of 743 graduates were listed in this year’s commencement program, with 406 receiving the associate of arts degree in general studies and 24 awarded the associate of science degree. An additional 79 students earned the associate of applied science degree and 244 students received basic certificates and certificates of completion.
SWTJC Uvalde Catholic Club secretary Julia Quiroga of Uvalde delivered the invocation. SWTJC student ambassador Ruth Alcantar led the singing of The National Anthem. SWTJC Del Rio Associate Vice President Derek Sandoval was master of ceremonies.
Hector Gonzales, Ph.D., SWTJC president, introduced college trustees and honored guests, and SWTJC Vice President for Academic Affairs Mark Underwood, Ph.D., introduced keynote speaker Poncho Nevarez, State Representative for House District 74.
SWTJC Vice President for Academic Affairs Mark Underwood, Ph.D., recognized honors graduates and outstanding students from individual programs.
Underwood recognized associate degree recipient Monica Jazmin Martinez of Eagle Pass for maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average (GPA) in earning her degree.
Certificate recipients recognized for a perfect 4.0 grade point average include: Samuel G. Aguirre of Crystal City, Joshua Castillo of San Antonio, Mara De Hoyos of Uvalde, Baldemar Delgado and Josue A. Leandro of Eagle Pass, Andrew Esquivel of Carrizo Springs, Mark A. Lopez of Hondo, Roberto Mejia of Del Rio and Megan Treviño of Round Rock.
Summa cum laude (3.9 to 4.0 GPA) honor graduates include Sunjin Park Contreras and Anisha Hindocha of Uvalde, Edgar Gonzales of Eagle Pass and Shauwna Mason of Batesville.
Magna cum laude honor graduates (3.7 to 3.899 GPA) from Uvalde include McKayla Kay Donovan, Alysa Suzette Freier, Sarah L. Hill, Jesus G. Morales IV, Ariel Elise Reyes and Maria Antonieta Rodriguez.
Area magna cum laude graduates were Ashley Campos and Eduardo Cuellar of Crystal City, San Juanita Castillo of Quemado, Anthony Garcia, Jr., Miriam Lopez, Krystal Marais, Francisco M. Sanchez of Eagle Pass, Yolanda Rocha and Gabriela Velazco of Del Rio and Esmeralda Ruiz of Utopia.
Cum laude honor graduates (3.6 to 3.699 GPA) from Uvalde was Marissa Andrea Sosa.
Area cum laude honorees were Teresa E. Chapoy and Esther R. Jimenez of Del Rio, Rita Chavarria, Raquel Espinoza, Hilda Guadalupe Garza-Garcia and Ovidio Marines of Eagel Pass, Eliazar Cuellar and Veronica Hernandez of Crystal City and Marcos S. Reyes of Pearsall.
Outstanding students in various technical programs were also recognized including: Debbie Gauna of Uvalde, Dorothy Tucker of Del Rio and Josefina Verjan of Crystal City, Administrative Information Technology; Abisai B. Rendon of Uvalde, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Technology; Jacob Calderon of Uvalde, Automotive Body Repair Technology; Michael A. Rubio of Uvalde, Automotive Technology; Diana E. Garcia of Eagle Pass and Maria Cristina Rios Rodriguez of Uvalde, Child Development; George Kimble, III of Del Rio and Gurprit Singh of Eagle Pass, Computer Information Systems; Selina Tovar, of Uvalde, Cosmetology; Alysa Freier, Criminal Justice; and Oscar Arredondo of Eagle Pass, Diesel Technology.
Other outstanding technical program students were: Maria R. Alfaro of Del Rio; Sandra O. Martinez of Uvalde; and Jose F. Vargas of Hondo, Management; Daniel Ibarra of Uvalde, Registered Nursing; Donaji Hernandez of Eagle Pass, Margarita Garcia Guerra of Uvalde and Juan Alaniz of Del Rio, Vocational Nursing; Jonathan Rodriguez of Uvalde, Welding Technology; and Jill Morgan, of Uvalde, Wildlife Management.
The Uvalde American Legion Post #26 Distinguished Achievement Award was presented by Underwood to Jorge Fernandez of Eagle Pass and Yvonne Mitton of Uvalde.
SWTJC trustees including Dr. Harry O. Watkins, Toni Moreno and Rodolfo R. Flores of Uvalde, Victor Lopez of Crystal City, and Anita Shackelford of Leakey all took part in the presentation of degrees and certificates.
Following the ceremony, graduates and their families attended a light reception hosted by the college in the Matthews Student Center on the SWTJC Uvalde main campus.
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