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More than 1,200 graduate from College of the Canyons

Posted: May 31, 2008 1:40 a.m.
Updated: August 1, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Trying something different this year, College of the Canyons scheduled a morning graduation ceremony and family and friends gathered in the campus Honor Grove Friday as the graduates filed through to their seats.

The 1,255 students representing 42 majors made the 2008 graduating class one of the largest the community college has ever had.

With a big "RN" written in glitter on the top of her mortarboard, nursing graduate Rosie Loprino stood out from the crowd. Loprino worked full time while completing her nursing program.

"I've been going to school six years because I was doing it part time," Loprino said. "Now I would like to go back to school and get my bachelor's degree, and then maybe come back to COC and be a clinical instructor."

Loprino said she never would have made it without the help of her parents and her husband.

"They've been my support system," she said.

Heather Levy was so nervous the night before graduation that she couldn't sleep.

"I don't remember not being able to sleep before my high school graduation," said Levy, a 2005 Canyon High School graduate. Levy plans to transfer to California State University, Northridge next fall to pursue a bachelor's degree in psychology.

"I want to be a therapist and also a professor, so eventually I want to get a Ph.D.," she said.

Superintendent-President Dianne Van Hook welcomed the graduates and guests to the ceremony and compared commencement to a crossroad in life.

"It allows you to look back at how you got here, and get excited about what is ahead," Van Hook said. "But remember that none of us got to where we are by ourselves."

Van Hook encouraged the graduates to remember the help and support they received from family, friends and the COC faculty.

"Whatever their contribution, I know, and you know, that they made a difference," she said.

This year's graduating class included 211 honors graduates, 16 graduates with a 4.0 GPA, a 16-year-old graduate and two 61-year-old graduates, Van Hook said. "They've proven that it's never too late to pursue your dreams," Van Hook said of the college's eldest graduates.

Van Hook challenged the graduates to be people of integrity.

"Integrity is giving the best of yourself to whatever you decide to undertake," she said. "It's now up to you to go out there and give it your all."


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