SWTJC awards over 600 degrees in 71st commencement ceremony

SWTJC awards over 600 degrees in 71st commencement ceremony

For the second year in a row, the SWTJC commencement was divided up into two ceremonies.

On Friday night (May 11), Applied Sciences graduates had their ceremony, while Liberal Arts graduates had their ceremony on Saturday (May 12) at the Uvalde Honey Bowl.

A total of 635 graduates participated, 289 for liberal arts and 346 for applied sciences. Taking part in the ceremonies were December 2017, May 2018 graduates, and August 2018 candidates for graduation.

Cecilia Coronado Reavis of Uvalde, delivered the invocation during Friday night’s ceremony, while Samantha Aguilera, also of Uvalde, gave Saturday’s invocation.

SWTJC 2015 Graduate Ruth Alcantar of Uvalde led the singing of The National Anthem for both ceremonies.

Hector Gonzales, Ph.D., SWTJC President, congratulated the graduates and welcomed the family and friends.

Gonzales went on to tell the graduates not to let anyone discount their junior college education.

“Never let anybody discount your junior college education,” said Gonzales. “We have produced doctors, lawyers, college presidents, legislators, professors and that’s just to name a few.”

Gonzales went on to share a success story of a student who called him on the Friday morning of graduation. The former student thanked him and also informed him that she was receiving her doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Wyoming that evening. According to Gonzales, the student had already secured employment with a veterans hospital.

“Isn’t that amazing? Just five years ago she left our campus, and now she is graduating with a doctorate in pharmacy,” Gonzales said.  

Derek Sandoval, vice president of administrative services, introduced college trustees and honored guests.

SWTJC Vice President for Academic Affairs Mark Underwood, Ph.D., introduced Friday and Saturday’s keynote speakers, which were Tracy King, Texas House of Representative for District 80 on Friday and Judith Canales, former Texas State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency on Saturday.

SWTJC trustees including Dr. Harry Watkins, Tony Moreno, Elena Lara, Dr. Antonio Rivera, Victor Lopez and Anita Shackelford all took part in the presentation of degrees and certificates.

Following the ceremonies, graduates and their families were treated to a light reception hosted by the college at the Uvalde Honey Bowl.

Graduates interested in purchasing their graduation photo can do so at