Mt. San Jacinto College awarded 1,785 associate’s degrees and 181 certificates to students during its commencement ceremonies last Friday, May 31.
A total of 1,291 students graduated during the event at the Ramona Bowl Amphitheater in Hemet.
MSJC Superintendent/President Roger Schultz told the students their milestone converged with one of MSJC’s landmarks: 2013 marks the college’s 50th anniversary.
With a theme of excellence, Schultz told the crowd about students who made great achievements this year. Three in the Class of 2013 were among only 73 students nationwide to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship. The $30,000-a-year renewable scholarship recognizes high academic achievements and excellence.
Those honorees are Amy Bartel, Shayla Esarey and Samuel Fall.
Shayla Esarey, Clarice Gerbl (left), Nik Warren and Sarah Stebbings.
“Class of 2013, you have exhibited excellence. Like those who founded MSJC 50 years ago, you made plans that will benefit you in the future and even others long after you are gone,” Schultz said. “You embrace hard work, innovation and determination.”
To mark the college’s 50th anniversary, MSJC alumnus Ron Murray sang the National Anthem, accompanied by the Menifee Jazz Ensemble. Murray is well-known in the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley for his singing and performing, but he is perhaps most acclaimed for his decades as a theater arts instructor at Hemet High School. A new performing arts center at the school is named in his honor.
The Menifee Jazz Ensemble also performed “Hop Scotch,” composed by Jeremy Brown, the ensemble’s director, associate professor and chair of the Music Department.
The following MSJC graduates participated in the ceremony:
Reta Bidi, of Winchester, the Pledge of Allegiance
Summer Kaines, of Menifee, Student Reflection
Mary Rose Carin, of Menifee, Student Closing Reflection
Clarice Gerbl, of San Jacinto,Turning of the Tassel