SWTJC awards over 600 degrees in 72nd commencement ceremony

SWTJC awards over 600 degrees in 72nd commencement ceremony

Southwest Texas Junior College celebrated its 72nd commencement ceremony on Friday night (May 17), and on Saturday (May 18) at the Uvalde Honey Bowl. 

Liberal Arts graduates received their diplomas on Friday night, while Applied Sciences graduates had their ceremony on Saturday night.

A total of 663 graduates participated, 368 for liberal arts and 295 for applied sciences. Taking part in the ceremonies were December 2018, May 2019 graduates, and August 2019 candidates for graduation.

Diego Marines of Uvalde, delivered the invocation during Friday night’s ceremony, while Elizabeth Davidson of Devine, 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. 

“You have a solid education, an education that’s is equal to any of those you’ll receive at any university,” said Gonzales. “We have produced doctors, lawyers, college presidents, legislators, and very successful businessmen and women.”

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

SWTJC Director of Student Engagement & Success Randa Faseler Schell, Ed. D. introduced Friday and Saturday’s keynote speaker, Elijah Evans, SWTJC Alumni.

Evans told the graduates that the best thing he could do is to give them the advice he would have wanted to receive when he was sitting in their seats just three years ago.

“There is something I could offer, and that is advice,” said Evans. “The advice I wanted to hear if I was sitting in your seats. As a recent graduate and someone who was there just three years ago, I know what it is like, and I know what you have been through and what you are going to go through.”

Evans went on to say, “Get enough sleep. Getting enough sleep makes all the difference in the world. I encourage you to get involved on campus, but don’t over commit yourself and take care of yourself.”

Vice President of Student Services, Margot Mata presented the graduating class, while SWTJC Board Vice President Dr. Harry O. Watkins and board secretary Dr. Antonio H. Rivera conferred the degrees.

SWTJC trustees Rodolfo Flores, Elena Lara, 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.