Imperial Valley College held its 58th commencement ceremony virtually on July 30, just days after announcing the college’s decision to cancel what was supposed to be a physical fall ceremony for the class of 2020.
The pre-recorded ceremony was streamed on the college’s website, imperial.edu
After the national anthem played, IVC Superintendent and President Martha Garcia addressed the graduating class in English and Spanish.
“Commencement is a special celebration for the college. The ceremony signifies that the students have reached a major milestone in their lives,” Garcia said, “It is a celebration of success, a major moment in life that emphasizes a completion of a challenging journey of personal and intellectual growth. The class reflects resilience and embodies tremendous commitment.”
Garcia reassured students that they and the college would get through these challenging times together. Garcia’s story serves an example to students demonstrating that they can make their dreams come true.
In her speech, Garcia shared with the students that she is a daughter of farmworkers and a first-generation college graduate, thanks to IVC.
“I personally understand the challenges that some of you may endure while aspiring to achieve your educational goals and ultimately your dreams.” Garcia said, “My message to you graduates is that I am certain your commitment to pursuing higher education will reward you, your family and future generations.”
A time-saving function available to viewers of the graduation on IVC’s website was titled “Find Your Clip.” Students and family members could fast-track the ceremony by typing in their name in the function to be immediately directed go to their graduation clip. The ceremony also boasted its own American Sign Language interpreter, 2014 IVC graduate Christian Reynoso.
Garcia shared the demographics of IVC’s graduating class of 2020.
The 1,328 graduates from IVC’s 2020 class ranged in age from 18 to 71 and had an average age of 25.9 years, Garcia said.
Of the graduates, IVC received 2,225 graduation petitions, which means many students received multiple degrees.
“The most degrees awarded to a single student this year is nine degrees,” Garcia said.
Only 419 of the graduates participated in the July 30 ceremony, Garcia said.
Sixty percent of IVC graduating class of 2020 were woman and 40 percent were men, Garcia added, “Ariba las mujer!”
Of the graduating class, 39 percent earned a grade-point avergae of 3.0 or higher and 27 percent earned a GPA of 3.5 or higher. A total of 38 graduates received associate degrees in nursing.
The Extended Opportunity Programs and Services is an IVC program designed to help students who come from low-income families. About 25 percent of IVC’s student base annually participate in EOPS. Garcia said she participated in EOPS when she was a student at IVC. Of this year’s class, 280 students utilized program’s resources.
From the statistics, Garcia said, it is evident that this year’s graduating class is among the best and brightest to ever come out of IVC. She then thanked the faculty and students’ family members for their support and effort in each students’ success.
“I am IVC and you are now IVC as well,” Garcia said.
Class of 2020 Associated Student Body President Moises Hernandez pre-recorded a speech at the school’s library.
“Once you leave IVC you are going to be in the real world, so you have to be the change you want to see in the world. Now what I mean by that is you should be voting, you should be active, and you should be speaking up for all the injustice that is going on in our nation right now,” Hernandez said.
Before ending his speech, Hernandez invited fellow graduates to be part of helping flatten the curve by wearing a mask and said that he did not want to be stuck in quarantine for the rest of his life.
Every year at IVC’s graduation ceremony the American Legion recognizes a male and female student for outstanding service to the community. This year, the American Legion recognized IVC graduates Brian Murray and Alejandra Diaz.
During the ceremony, as each graduate’s name was called, their picture and a short quote appeared on the screen.
The ceremony ended with a song called “2020 Brightside” played on guitar by Jose Martinez, a local fifth-grade teacher.
The ceremony is still available on IVC’s website.