Grads walk nearing

Past the sweat and aggravation of finals for some Los Medanos College students a figurative finish line is waiting just around the bend in the form of graduation day.

The commencement ceremony will be Wednesday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the LMC football stadium according to the college’s homepage section on the graduation ceremony.

The event will honor students who have completed an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science or who are obtaining certificates of achievement or are considered pending by the office of Admissions and Records.

Dave Belman, interim dean of student success, believes there is duality to the event.

“Graduation is a significant educational milestone and a culminating event for both students and for the college,” said Belman. “The Commencement Ceremony is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our students.”

LMC Spanish Professor Nancy Whitman shares many of Belman’s sentiments and sees herself as a cheerleader for those graduating from the college.

“As an academic professor, I think it is important to honor those who are graduating. It’s a big thing to go to college,” said Whitman. “It’s an even bigger thing to graduate.”

Jose Alvarez is one of the LMC students Whitman and others will be cheering on from the stands and the field as he walks in and stands to accept his diploma.

“I am walking just for the experience. LMC has been so good to me and it is a good way to depart from this campus,” said Alvarez.

LMC student Brianna Klipp who expects to finish up the requirements for a degree in the fall does not plan on taking part in the ceremony when she will have a chance.

“I plan on celebrating and walking when I graduate from a four-year university. I feel like I don’t want to celebrate too soon,” said Klipp.

If Whitman were able she might try to persuade Klipp and others who feel the way she does to participate in the ceremony.

“It’s important to recognize and celebrate our successes — to applaud ourselves along the way,” said Whitman. “I see the A.A. or A.S. degree to not be a terminal degree, but a stepping stone because I am a lifelong learner.”

She added that she thinks it is important for friends and family to be there to support the graduates. Beyond that she thinks it’s a chance to have fun and enjoy listening to the speakers.

For Belman, the ceremony is an opportunity for vivid memories and a time for both a sense of personal accomplishment as well as gratitude for those who have helped along the way.

“A diplomais an educational outcome, but behind that diploma is an educational experience, and every student has their own unique experience,” said Belman. “I think that at the heart of a good commencement speech is a story about that educational journey — and I know that LMC students have amazing stories to tell.”Students who are graduating and whose names are on record can buy their caps and gowns at the LMC Bookstore for $16.80 plus tax. Qualifying students with a 3.5 grade point average or higher may purchase a gold tassel for an additional $4.60 plus tax. The list also denotes any clubs they are a part of. Students are advised by the graduation page to be at the stadium by 6 p.m. to begin lining up near the men’s locker room, and are prohibited from wearing high heel shoes or chewing gum because they can damage the field.In Belman’s view, somewhat like Whitman, the track running around the football field would not be apt representation of the event because he sees it not as the finish line of sprint but the first stage in a marathon.“Graduation is not an ending, it is a milestone on a lifelong journey of education and pursuing your dreams,” said Belman.

For more information on the graduation visit and select graduation from within the A-Z index or call Admissions and Records at 439-2181 ext. 7500.