On Friday, May 22, San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) celebrated the graduating class of 2020 with a first-ever virtual Commencement ceremony. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person ceremony was converted into an online live stream, where graduates and their families attended and interacted with the ceremony from the safety of their computers or smartphones. The class of 2020 was also invited to participate in the college’s next in-person ceremony, which is tentatively scheduled for May 2021.
This year’s virtual ceremony took place exactly like the college’s traditional in-person ceremony, except that it was viewed remotely on SBVC‘s website, YouTube channel or Facebook page. The event featured greetings from President Diana Z. Rodriguez, Chair of the Board of Trustees Anne L. Viricel, and other speakers who welcomed viewers and acknowledged graduates’ years of dedication and hard work.
Student speaker Maritza Mariscal-Medina, a student trustee for the San Bernardino Community College District, had a pre-recorded speech that encouraged her fellow graduates, along with keynote speaker Judith Valles, San Bernardino’s first Hispanic mayor and immediate past president of the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra.
After these congratulatory messages, graduates had their names read in alphabetical order alongside their virtual cards, which were designed and submitted by each graduate in advance.
Commencement 2020 celebrated the many milestones reached by the college’s students, faculty and classified professionals during the 2019-20 academic year, which—despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic since March—stands out as having been one of the most successful graduating classes in the college’s history. Among the degree recipients in the class of 2020, 38 graduated with highest honors or a 3.9 to 4.0 GPA and 132 students graduated with honors or a 3.7 to 3.89 GPA. The major with the most graduates was liberal arts, which included 233 graduates emphasizing in biological and physical sciences and 302 that emphasized in social and behavioral sciences. 256 students graduated with a police academy certificate. In total, 1,787 students received 2,418 degrees and certificates, resulting in one of the largest graduating classes in the college’s 93-year history.
In addition to being accessible on the college’s website, YouTube channel and Facebook page, the ceremony will be rebroadcast on Empire KVCR-TV, as determined by its broadcasting schedule.