Graduation marks turning of City’s century


Photo credit: Michele Suthers

Kaily Sanders

City College will celebrate the 100th Year Commencement on May 23 at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. The commencement will celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of the students from the 99th graduating class.

The graduation committee, along with help from other departments and staff members, spent countless hours planning to make the commencement extraordinary in honor of the Centennial.

“It is truly one of the most collective and collaborative efforts that’s happened on campus,” said City College Vice President Denise Whisenhunt, who is also the chair of the committee.

Two former presidents of City College, Dr. Jeanne Atherton and Dr. Jerome Hunter, will attend and lead the processional with San Diego Community College District Chancellor Constance Carroll and current Interim President Lynn Neault.

For the first time, in addition to the speech from Associated Students Government President Carolina Moreno, the event will feature a commencement speaker, former City College graphic design student Josh Higgins.

A former pupil of professor Candice Lopez, Higgins worked as the design director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, and currently serves as a creative director for Facebook.

Former graphic design student Josh Higgins will be a featured commencement speaker May 23. (Courtesy photo: Graphic Design Program)

Another innovation in honor of the Centennial is a commemorative program guide designed by City’s graphic design students. The guide will include a collage from the different centennial events throughout the spring 2014 semester.

The awards presentation will include the winner of the 2014 Golden Apple Faculty Award, recognizing the hard work and dedication of Health and Exercise Science professor and women’s soccer coach Andrea Milburn.

Additionally, student Justino Guerro will be presented with the Chancellor’s Scholarship Award, acknowledging his dedication to his scholastic merit.

Another event entitled “Roll Call” will be promoted as an opportunity for all former students, staff and faculty members to be a part of history, having their names added to the Centennial Time Capsule on Founder’s Day in September.

This year, there are approximately 1,200 students earning associate degrees and certificates, although fewer than half will walk in the ceremony. Public Information Officer Heidi Bunkowske encourages potential graduates to be prepared.

“Just because a student is graduating, does not mean they automatically walk in graduation,” Bunkowske said. She urges interested students to plan ahead.

“There are a number of steps that students have to do to make sure that they’re ready for graduation,” Bunkowske added, recommending that students submit their petition a year in advance.

These steps include developing a student educational plan with a counselor, filing a petition to graduate, waiting for an evaluation review to arrive by mail, receiving an invitation and registering to participate in the event.

“It’s a celebration of completion,” Whisenhunt added. “From a state and national perspective, the completion agenda has become more prominent. It’s really a celebration of those who made a conscious decision to finish.”

The 100th Year Commencement will begin at 5 p.m. For more information, visit

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The campus community celebrates City College’s Centennial on Jan. 29 in the Gorton Quad (Courtesy photo: City College 2014 Yearbook)
Official promotional material