Butte College Career Program graduation ceremonies also took place:
Respiratory Care, Friday, May 24, 1:30 p.m. (Invitation Only), Paradise Performing Arts Center, 777 Nunneley Road
Law Enforcement Academy, Thursday, June 6, 4 p.m., Paradise Alliance Church, 6491 Clark Road
Welding Technology Program, Saturday, June 8, 5:30 p.m., in the Butte College welding shop
Butte College celebrated its 44th annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 24 at 7 p.m. on the football field at the John Cowan Sports Complex, 3536 Butte Campus Drive. Butte College President Dr. Kimberly Perry, along with the Butte College Board of Trustees, presided. Thousands of faculty, staff, family and friends celebrated this significant milestone in the lives of our graduates.
A total of 1,602 degrees were conferred, including 970 Associate in Arts degrees and 632 Associate in Science degrees. This year’s graduates came from 140 cities within California, 14 other states, and five foreign countries.
“Graduation is one milestone in life’s journey. A journey that will, for most graduates, be a new beginning, a delayed beginning or a rejuvenated beginning,” said Dr. Kimberly Perry. “We are very proud of all of our graduates who truly reflect our diverse communities. Our graduates range in ages from 62 to 18.”
Among the top degrees awarded: Accounting, Administration of Justice, Agriculture Business, Automotive Technology, Biological Science, Business Administration, Business Computer Information Systems, Child Development, Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)/Paramedic , Fire Technology, Graphic Design, Language Arts, Law Enforcement, Liberal Studies, Licensed Vocational Nursing, Medical Office Administration, Multimedia Studies, Natural Resources, Nutrition and Food Sciences, Registered Nursing, Respiratory Care, Social and Behavioral Science, and University Studies: Social Science.
Butte College’s 2013 student commencement speaker was Ashley Beecham.
In 2005, on the day Beecham was to graduate from Red Bluff High School, Beecham, was in the hospital giving birth to her son Jordan. When she graduates from Butte College May 24, Jordan will get to see his mom receive three associate’s degrees, one in Communication Studies, Social and Behavioral Science, and University Studies.
“This will be the first time I get the graduation experience--the first time I’ll get to walk across the stage and feel that sense of accomplishment. I didn’t experience that milestone for high school so I’m finally getting that celebration now,” she said.
In 2009 Beecham, then 21, “had it all figured out.” She planned to become a police offer and enrolled in Butte’s Law Enforcement Academy. Halfway through her training, Beecham “screened out on a scenerio test.”
“That’s just a nice way to say I failed. I was devastated,” she recalled.
Beecham started full-time work at the Glenn County Office of Education, where she still works, and encouraged by her boss, returned to school at Butte in the Fall of 2011.
“I felt supported by my boss and by the staff and teachers at Butte College. It really boosted my self-esteem and made me feel like I could continue my education and do well in school,” she said.
An avid and hardworking student, Beecham joined the speech and debate team and became the team’s platform speaker.
“I have learned to never let the fear of failure prevent me from pursuing my goals. I’m stronger and more determined now. I know to never give up. And, if you fail the most important thing to do is pick yourself up, brush yourself off and it will pay off,” said Beecham.
Looking forward to a bright future Beecham will attend Chico State in the fall to earn her bachelor’s degree in organizational communications and psychology. Beecham, who was raised in foster homes, is looking forward to a career working with foster children.
Commencement Vocalist is Dallas Brown, who sang the National Anthem. Dallas grew up in Vacaville and graduated with a degree in Social and Behavioral Science. She plans to transfer to CSU, Chico to major in pre-business administration. Her future employment plans include working as an event coordinator.
· Our oldest graduate is 62 years old. Janice Sumahit is receiving a degree in Early Childhood Education and has maintained a 3.96 GPA. She will not be walking in the graduation ceremony, however.
· Our youngest graduates include three 18 year olds born in 1994, Michaela Wyser and Sara Weiss, both receiving a degree in Social and Behavioral Science, and Caroline Fairchild, who will receive a degree in Language Arts. Caroline is also the daughter of our Music Appreciation and Theory faculty instructor Mark Latham.
· Graduation demographics: A total of 50 graduates in their 50’s, 107 in their 40’s, 194 in their 30’s, 840 graduates in their 20’s, with 527 of these graduates between the ages of 20 and 23, and 40 under 20 years of age.
· In addition to the degrees that were conferred at this ceremony, Butte College awards many certificates, the majority of which are in Career Technical Education. The most popular certificates are in the areas of EMT, Cosmetology, Welding, Nursing, Law Enforcement and Fire Technology.
Butte College serves Butte and Glenn Counties, provides classes to 22,000 students each year, and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).