Record 3,791 eligible for Pima graduation Thursday
Pima Community College will see members of the largest graduating class in the school's 45-year history accept degrees on Thursday.
The school's administrative troubles — which have led accreditors to put PCC on probation — haven't put a burden on work in the classroom. A total of 3,791 students are candidates for graduation, a college spokesman said in a press release.
While not every student declared eligible by PCC will graduate — some won't file the necessary paperwork — the school will award 6,070 degrees and certificates, Pima's C.J. Karamargin said. Many students receive multiple degrees or certificates.
Both figures are records for the multi-campus college, officials said. This year, 65 more students are candidates than in 2013; 167 more students are candidates than in 2012.
“Our graduates are united by a spirit of perseverance and a love of learning,” Chancellor Lee D. Lambert said in the release. “They truly reflect the best qualities found in Tucson’s wonderful tapestry of cultures and surely will form the backbone of a thriving, prosperous community.”
The oldest graduate is Salahuddin Ali Qurtubah, 76, who is a candidate to receive a Social Services Certificate. The youngest graduate is Jose Teodoro Celaya-Alcala, 15, who is a candidate to receive an Arizona General Education Curriculum-Arts certification.
The commencement ceremony will be Thursday night at the Tucson Convention Center Arena. Speaking will be Athanasia Chalkiopoulos, who is receiving two associate degrees.
An aspiring high school history teacher, Chalkiopoulos plans to pursue a master's degree in secondary education at the University of Arizona. She will receive an Arizona General Education Curriculum-Arts Certificate and an Associate of Arts, Liberal Arts degree.
“I see (being commencement speaker) as a final challenge to completing my degree by thanking PCC with a commendable speech that will reinforce esteem for our school and will illuminate diversity, which is the theme of our graduating class,” Chalkiopoulos said in a release.