What to expect at Commencement

Graphic by Michelle Fredrickson

June 15 – the last day of the quarter. Most students are excited for this date, since it means the start of summer, but one group of students is excited for a completely different reason: June 15 is the day of graduation.

Students who are graduating, either with an Associate’s Degree, a Bachelor’s Degree or a certificate, have the option of participating in a ceremony at the BC gym at 7:00 p.m. on June 15.  Anyone who graduated at any quarter this last year was invited, and was sent a letter in May.

“I think it’s going to be fun because a lot of my friends are coming. It’s actually the first time I wear the cap and gown because back in my high school we just wear our uniforms. So I’m pretty excited for that,” said BC graduate Clarisse Matias, who is walking in the ceremony with an Associate’s Degree.

Graduate Joaquim Lei said, “Commencement is one of the milestones of my life!”

There will be two speakers: Anh Nguyen, President of the International Student Association, and Shiv Batra, President and CEO of INCA Engineers.

Nguyen is well-known and popular among students – in fact, Matias said that Nguyen would be the ideal speaker, before she knew who the speakers would be. “I think she’s worthy of it,” Matias said. Nguyen is 18 years old and is a Phi Theta Kappa member, as well as president of the ISA and a main organizer behind the popular International Night. She also recently received national recognition through a considerable scholarship from Coca-Cola.

Batra is an entrepreneur, a  businessman and an engineer. He founded his company, INCA Engineers, in 1983 with just three employees and a partner, according to the company’s history documentation. INCA provides consulting for governments and the private sector on any types of engineering projects – they were even involved with WSDOT on constructing the I-90 bridge.

The entire campus has participated in planning the complex commencement ceremony. Matt Groshong, Dean of Student Success, said in an e-mail, “Planning for the event happens primarily starting in March.  It involves Student Programs, Facilities/Events, Food Services, Public Safety, President’s Office, Campus Operations, Information Resources, Bookstore, Printing Services, Disability Resource Center, Enrollment Services, Evaluations, and many staff and faculty volunteers from across campus.”

As the college has grown larger over the last several years, the graduating class size has increased accordingly. Since 2007, the number of people walking has gone up by 100, according to Groshong.

Space is limited and as more students are graduating than ever, tickets have to be rationed. Therefore every graduating student was given three tickets for family and friends, but for students who want to bring more guests, extras will be distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis starting at 8:30 a.m. on June 14.

Because of those space limitations, not everyone who wants to come will be able to – so the ceremony is being telecasted on the College Channel (Comcast channel 28) in order to ensure that anyone who wants to will have the option of viewing the ceremony in some manner.

Directly following the ceremony, a reception will be held in the cafeteria with food and drinks provided by the school’s food services. Groshong said, “It is truly a college-wide effort to create a special event to honor our graduates!”