Modesto Junior College is celebrating the Class of 2019 at the 97th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 3 at 6 p.m. in the Stadium on East Campus. A reception for MJC graduates and their guests is held immediately following the graduation ceremony in the Student Center Rotunda. Both the ceremony and reception are free and open to the public.
MJC will have awarded an approximate total of 2,100 associate degrees to 1,600 students during the 2018-2019 academic year, pending recipients’ successful completion of the spring semester. Additionally, 1,300 certificates of achievement will be awarded to 1,000 individuals for this academic year. For the first time, MJC also awarded Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care degrees to 18 students at the end of fall 2018. Approximately 600 of these graduates plan to participate in MJC’s annual Commencement Ceremony.
Addressing the Class of 2019 is graduating student Thomas Barker presenting “From the Ashes.” He is graduating with honors having earned an Associate of Arts in History. He plans to transfer to University of California, Berkeley in the fall to pursue a Bachelor's degree in History. Barker hopes to eventually pursue graduate school, with the career goal of becoming a history professor.
Student soloist Steven John Trapp will sing the national anthem, and music by the MJC Combined Symphonic and Concert Bands, under the direction of Professor Erik Maki, highlights the ceremony.
The graduation program features the presentation of the 2019 MJC Distinguished Alumni Award to Kathy Halsey, Senior Director of the American Leadership Forum (ALF) - Great Valley Chapter, an organization focused on building a diverse network of leaders to create an inclusive, thriving Central Valley. She is a Senior Fellow of the 2009 inaugural class of and began working for the chapter in 2011. Halsey retired in 2010 from a 32-year career with AT&T, the last 17 years as an External Affairs Area Manager. She has served as president of Modesto Rotary, chairman of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce, and was a founding member and former co-chair of Women United-United Way of Stanislaus County. She is a 1999 Leadership Modesto graduate and is currently the vice chair of the ALF National Board of Directors. Halsey received the Woman of the Year Award from the State Assembly in 2006 and the State Senate in 2010.
Additional dignitaries on the platform include James Houpis, MJC president; Flerida Arias, interim vice president of Student Services; Jennifer Zellet, vice president of Instruction; Albert Alt, vice president of College Administrative Services; George Boodrookas, dean of advancement and executive director of the MJC Foundation; Steve Collins, MJC emeritus administrator; Curtis Martin, president of MJC Academic Senate; Yosemite Community College District (YCCD) trustees Antonio Aguilar, Darin Gharat, and Abe Rojas, and Henry Yong, YCCD chancellor.
MJC graduates and their family and friends are invited to attend the annual Graduation Luncheon on Friday, April 26 at 12 noon in the Mary Stuart Rogers Student Learning Center on West Campus. The luncheon features an address entitled “Soarin'” by graduating student speaker Lionel Orhiere. Luncheon tickets must be purchased in advance and are available for $12 in the Pirates’ Bookstore on East Campus.
For more information on MJC’s graduation contact the Public Information Office at