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COC graduates largest-ever class

Posted: June 6, 2014 1:58 p.m.
Updated: June 6, 2014 1:58 p.m.

Family and friends look on as the 1,343 members of the 2014 graduating class attend the commencement ceremony at College of the Canyons on Friday. Signal photo by Dan Watson

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More than 1,300 students at College of the Canyons were urged to look forward and write the next chapter in their lives’ stories Friday as they donned their caps and gowns to celebrate commencement.

Thousands of people — mainly proud family members and friends, all with assortments of flowers and balloons — were on hand at the college’s Valencia campus to witness Friday’s commencement ceremony, which marked the end result of years of work by a class officials touted as the largest in the school’s history.

The 1,343 students come from a variety of different backgrounds, took a number of different paths to arrive at Friday’s ceremony and are headed to many different endeavors after graduating.

Graduate Craig Dermody, one of the class valedictorians, said community colleges can often be written off by high school students as a “Plan B” — a divergence from the “traditional” path of going into a four-year university right after high school.

“I look out today and I see several hundred shining examples of people who took the less-traveled path,” he said.
Another graduate and valedictorian, Ryan Joslin, said students should remember the journeys they took to this moment and the support they received along the way.

“Remember how far you’ve come, because you’ve earned this,” he told his fellow students.

Graduating students ranged in age from 16 to 72, with the average settling at 26. The class included 85 different majors and, together, students registered a class grade-point average of 3.06.

Four of the students celebrated their birthday as well as their graduation on Friday, and 68 members of the class are veterans.

COC Chancellor Dianne Van Hook urged those graduating to look to the next chapters in their lives and write their own stories as they make their way to different endeavors.

“I am so incredibly proud of you and all you have accomplished,” she told the crowd of assembled students. “And I know the best stories are yet to come.”
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




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