Corrine Rutledge worked a variety of jobs for a few years after attending high school in Banning before she decided to return to Mt. San Jacinto College to earn her degree. Irvin Calderon of Perris was still in high school when he was encouraged to attend MSJC. Menifee resident Leslie Fairbairn signed up for MSJC’s nursing program when she decided it was time for a career change.
All three students will move on to earn four-year degrees after they graduate from MSJC next week.
MSJC will hold commencement for 1,093 students at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 30, at the Ramona Bowl Amphitheatre in Hemet.
During graduation, the college will award 1,593 associate degrees and 143 certificates for a total of 1,736 combined degrees/certificates awarded. Many students earn more than one degree or certificate or a combination.
MSJC graduating students Sarah Stebbings of Wildomar and Megan Kellenberger of Hemet will give their reflections during the ceremony. Hannah Dixon of Temecula will offer the Pledge of Allegiance and Ivelisse Porroa Garcia of Banning will serve her fellow students as the official Tassel Turner.
Fairbairn, who will turn 42 in July, has lived in the Menifee area since high school and graduated from Temecula Valley High. After earning two previous associate degrees, she chose MSJC for her career change because of the strength of the nursing program. The mother of three young boys had worked and traveled for years before the birth of her sons as a Logistics Analyst for the American Suzuki Motor Corporation headquartered in Orange County.
She dates her desire to train as a nurse to a particularly difficult medical situation about five years ago. She became completely dependent on nurses, family and friends during the ordeal.
While the nurses who cared for her serve as inspiration, her family is her motivation for continuing her education.
"I want to be an example for my kids and help my husband, who has been the sole provider for the past several years," Fairbairn said.
She plans to start an online nursing program in July.