SAN BERNARDINO, California—On May 22, San Bernardino Valley College will celebrate the graduating class of 2020 with a first-ever virtual Commencement ceremony. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person ceremony was converted into an online livestream, where graduates and their families will be able to attend and interact with the ceremony from the safety of their computers or smartphones. The class of 2020 has also been invited to participate in the college’s next in-person ceremony,which is tentatively scheduled for May 2021.
This year’s virtual ceremony will be a live video that progresses exactly like the college’s traditional in-person ceremony, except that it will be viewed remotely on SBVC‘s website, YouTube channel or Facebook page. The event will feature greetings from President Diana Z. Rodriguez, Chair of the Board of Trustees Dr. Anne L. Viricel, and other speakers who will welcome viewers and acknowledge graduates’ years of dedication and hard work.
Student speaker Maritza Mariscal-Medina, who is also the student trustee for the San Bernardino Community College District, has pre-recorded a speech to encourage her fellow graduates, as has keynote speaker Dr. Judith Valles, San Bernardino’s first Hispanic mayor and immediate past president of the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra.
After these congratulatory messages, graduates will have their names read in alphabetical order alongside their virtual cards, which were designed and submitted by each graduate in advance.
During the ceremony, participants will also have another way to celebrate and encourage each other: the college’s website will feature a Virtual Wall displaying all public Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts tagged with #sbvcgrad20. Throughout the event, graduates will share their cap & gown selfies, ceremony celebrations, and congratulations to the class of 2020 for all to see.
Commencement 2020 will celebrate the many milestones reached by the college’s students, faculty, and classified professionals during the 2019-20 academic year, which—despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic since March—stands out as having one of the most successful graduating classes in the college’s history. Among the degree recipients in the class of 2020, 38 are graduating with highest honors, or a 3.9-4.0 GPA, and 132 students are graduating with honors, or a 3.7-3.89 GPA. The major with the most graduates is liberal arts, which includes 233 graduates emphasizing in biological and physical sciences, and 302 emphasizing in social and behavioral sciences. There are also 256 students graduating with a police academy certificate. In total, 1,787 students will receive 2,418 degrees and certificates, resulting in one of the largest graduating classes in the college’s 93-year history.
In addition to being accessible on the college’s website, YouTube channel and Facebook page, the ceremony will also be rebroadcast on Empire KVCR-TV, as determined by its broadcasting schedule at http://www.empirenetwork.org/schedule.