SWTJC commencement ceremonies slated for Friday and Saturday in Uvalde

SWTJC commencement ceremonies slated for Friday and Saturday in Uvalde


SWTJC commencement ceremonies slated for Friday and Saturday in Uvalde

Southwest Texas Junior College will hold its 71st Annual Commencement Ceremonies on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 starting at 7 p.m. at the Uvalde Honey Bowl.

“Last year was the first time we had two commencement ceremonies, this year there is a slight change in the times of the ceremonies,” said Steve Martinez, college registrar. “Both ceremonies will be at 7 p.m. at the Uvalde Honey Bowl unless there is bad weather.”

In case of inclement weather, the ceremonies will take place at the Harvey Kinchlow Gym at Uvalde High School. 

According to Martinez, “638 graduates are scheduled to walk, 290 for liberal arts and 348 for applied sciences.”

Applied Sciences graduates are scheduled to receive their diplomas and certificates on Friday night, where Liberal Arts graduates are expected to walk on Saturday night.

Derek Sandoval, vice president of administrative services, will be serving as Master of Ceremonies and will introduce college trustees and administration.

SWTJC students Cecilia Coronado Reavis and Samantha Aguilera will deliver the invocation. Reavis will deliver the invocation on Friday, while Aguilera will give the invocation on Saturday.  Ruth Alcantar of Uvalde will lead the singing of The National Anthem.

Dr. Hector Gonzales, SWTJC President, will deliver a welcome address.

SWTJC Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Mark Underwood will introduce the keynote speakers.

Tracy O. King, Texas House of Representative for District 80, will deliver the keynote address on Friday night. Currently, King is Chairman of the powerful House Agriculture and Livestock Committee, a member of the Natural Resources Committee, the House Select Committee on Texas Ports, Innovation & Infrastructure and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Special Water Districts.

Judith A. Canales, former Texas State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency, will deliver the keynote address on Saturday night. According to Canales’ biography, she has a proven record of leadership, working to develop the Texas economy at the local level and serving in executive leadership positions in the federal government for two U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. 

Vice President of Student Services, Margot Mata will present the graduating class.  SWTJC board members Maria Elena Lara and Tony Moreno will confer the degrees and diplomas, Lara will confer on Friday night and Moreno on Saturday night.

SWTJC Board of Trustees Rodolfo R. Flores, President; Harry O. Watkins, Vice President; Dr. Antonio H. Rivera, Secretary; and members Maria Elena Lara, Victor Lopez, Tony T. Moreno, and Anita Shackelford will be on hand to award diplomas and certificates. 

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," Martinez said. "After the ceremony is over everyone is welcome to come on the field and take additional photos."

Each night following the ceremony, graduates and their guests are invited to a reception by the clubhouse on the south end of the field.