Glendale Community College celebrates class of 2021 virtually

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Despite some classes at Glendale Community College ending May 21, a ceremony to celebrate and honor the graduates streamed on YouTube, the previous Friday.

The 56th annual event was a mere 25 minutes since they did not traditionally list all the graduates’ names out loud one-by-one. Instead, the names are cataloged on GCC’S virtual commencement website.

The theme throughout the ceremony was achieving dreams. All six presenters discussed it in some form or another highlighting the additional hardships faced this year. “You have proven nothing can get in the way of achieving your dreams,” GCC President Dr. Teresa Leyba Ruiz said. Dr. Leyba Ruiz was the first and last person to talk. She was dressed in her doctoral cap and gown while presenting to celebrate the occasion and show that this ceremony was just as important to her as previous years.

Following the president was Interim Chancellor of Maricopa County Community College District, Dr. Steven Gonzales. His speech was shorter and followed most of the same points Dr. Leyba Ruiz did. He also explained how important all the, now, former students are in the workforce.

Strung throughout the stream were musical performances as well. Starting with Mikayla Mcintosh who sang The Star-Spangled Banner as the opener to the event. The wind ensemble preformed toward middle, after governing board member Jean McGrath, playing a piece called Marche Militaire Francaise.

Among the graduating class was Associated Student Government President Abel Haddis. “Although we cannot all be together today physically, in the way that many of us dreamed of, today is nonetheless meaningful and memorable,” Haddis said. He focused on admiring the achievements made by the students throughout the unique school year.

Overall, the event might have only been streaming for a brief time, but the dedication put forth by the students as demonstrated through the number of graduates and proud staff was anything but hasty. As classes start to transition back to an in-person learning style, many hope that next year’s commencement will return to that as well.

Congratulations Gauchos!