(CAMARILLO, Calif.) May 11, 2020 –
With the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, this year’s graduates of Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura colleges have had to adjust to the fact that in-person graduation ceremonies have been canceled. Recognizing the impact of this change for students who have worked hard to achieve their goals, the Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD) leadership collaborated with its three colleges to celebrate the 5,146 students in the class of 2020 who have earned their degrees or certificates.
This year’s graduation artwork, created by VCCCD college student Joshua Dayrit, is a whimsical illustration of students titled “Keep Dreaming.” The message for students is to keep striving to reach their goals, despite challenges.
“We understand that our students, faculty, staff and administrators have faced extraordinary challenges with the pandemic,” said Chancellor Greg Gillespie. “We worked hard to find alternative ways to honor our graduates within our stay-at-home order, communicating to students just how incredibly proud we are of their commitment and dedication to accomplishing their goals.”
“Higher education success under ordinary circumstances takes persistence. The novel coronavirus presented overwhelming challenges to instruction and services and yet, our students persisted,” said Trustee Chair Bernardo M. Perez. “This is all the more reason to celebrate this incredible milestone for our students.”
As part of the celebration activities, graduating students are being highlighted in a virtual yearbook on Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura colleges’ graduation webpages. Like traditional bound yearbooks, the online version includes photos of participating graduates along with their information and photos of campus life. The community is invited to visit each college’s webpage to watch graduation speeches by Chair Perez, college presidents and student leadership. The Ventura College Singers also perform the Star Spangled Banner via video.
Graduates received a congratulations lawn sign that they can display, along with a 2020 keepsake tassel.
The college presidents are inspired by the graduates’ achievements and offered these congratulations:
“Our graduates have demonstrated diligence and commitment to success,” said Moorpark College Interim President Julius Sokenu. “We are all disappointed that we won’t be able to celebrate in person with them. However, the Moorpark College class of 2020 has earned 3,180 degrees and 1,443 certificates. They will transfer to top research universities as well as obtain careers in high-demand, high-wage industries. Some will earn that promotion which motivated them to return to college. They are the future of our county, state, region and nation. Congrats to the Class of 2020!”
“Congratulations to this year’s Oxnard College graduates who have collectively earned nearly 2,000 degrees or certificates,” said Luis Sanchez, interim president of Oxnard College. “You have persevered in the face of an unprecedented final semester, and we are in awe of your tenacity. Oxnard College proudly serves the military, immigrant and working-class families who make up our community’s backbone and your success makes Ventura County a better home for us all.”
“At Ventura College, graduation is an extremely important milestone for our students and their families,” said Ventura College President Kim Hoffmans. “The high achievement of a college degree and certificate is challenging to complete and worthy of celebration. I personally want to congratulate and recognize our students on successfully navigating rigorous coursework to achieve their academic goals. As our graduates progress in their future education or career voyages, I wish them the best of circumstances and hope they will remember Ventura College with fondness.”
About Ventura County Community College District
The Ventura County Community College District is a member of the 115-campus California Community College system, and serves more than 32,000 students annually. The District’s three colleges–Moorpark, Oxnard, and Ventura–offer programs in general education for degrees and certificates, transfer to four-year colleges and universities, career technical education, and provide opportunities to engage in co-curricular campus activities. For more information, please visit vcccd.edu.