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Pima Community College

PCC to graduate record number of students

  • JMaz Photo/Flickr

Pima Community College is set to graduate the largest class in the school's history Thursday at Tucson Covention Center Arena, with 3,624 students, the school announced Tuesday.

“This year’s commencement is one for the record books,” said Interim Chancellor Suzanne Miles in a press release. “Our graduates come from diverse backgrounds but share a common desire to acquire new knowledge, learn new skills and pursue their dreams by furthering their education.”

This year's class includes 2,066 women, 1,522 men and 36 who did not specify gender. At least 253 military veterans are among those graduating, said PCC spokesman C.J. Karamargin.

The oldest graduate will be 73-year-old Fernanda Maria Gallardo who is earning a Direct Care Professional Certificate, while the youngest graduate, 17-year-old Alec R. Moreno, will receive a Certificate in Business and Industry Technology, Karamargin said.

This year, 88 students will graduate with the school's highest honors for achieving a grade-point average greater than 3.90, Karamargin said.

Dax W. Crocker, 40, will deliver the commencement speech. Crocker, a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, was born in Guatemala, began preaching at 17 and has performed missionary work around the world. The general-studies graduate candidate is a minister with Tucson's House of Glory Church, said Karamargin.

The ceremony will be at 7 p.m. Students who completed studies in summer 2011, fall 2011 or spring 2012 are eligible to participate in Thursday's ceremony, Karamargin said.

The majority of students will receive degrees or certificates in liberal arts, general studies, business and nursing, Karamargin said.

On May 10, PCC honored 90 graduating nursing students in a candlelight pinning ceremony at TCC's Grand Ballroom.

A pinning ceremony has roots that stretch back more than 150 years to the Nightingale School of Nursing in London, where students received pins symbolizing excellence, Karamargin said.

Pima Community College has seen an increase in men graduating from its Nursing Department, making up 20 percent of this year's class, Karamargin said.

"I like making people feel better and helping others. It doesn't bother me that it's a field dominated by women," said 27-year-old Jesus Uribe in a press release Uribe is a native of Nogales, Ariz., and a graduating nurse.

By the numbers

Pima Community College degrees and certificates to be awarded:

  • 1,393 Arizona General Education Certifications
  • 972 Associate of Arts
  • 918 Certificate Program
  • 942 Associate of Applied Science
  • 479 Associate of General Studies
  • 202 Associate of Business
  • 207 Associate of Science
  • 153 Advanced Certificates
  • 20 Associate of Fine Arts
  • 13 Associate of Applied Arts

Graduation totals since 2000:

  • 2011: 3,307
  • 2010: 3,001
  • 2009: 2,889
  • 2008: 3,008
  • 2007: 3,304
  • 2006: 3,555
  • 2005: 2,884
  • 2004: 3,305
  • 2003: 2,927
  • 2002: 2,822
  • 2001: 2,020
  • 2000: 2,151

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