By Jesse Munoz
College of the Canyons will honor the graduating class of 2012 by hosting its 43rd annual commencement ceremony, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday, June 1, in the COC Honor Grove, located on the college’s Valencia campus.
Centrally located in the middle of campus, the COC Honor Grove has been the scene of a variety of public ceremonies and communitywide events, and is an ideal venue to host the many proud families and friends who attend the college’s commencement ceremony each year.
Seating for the event is provided on a first come, first served basis, with each graduate asked to invite no more than eight guests. Community members planning on attending this year’s commencement ceremony are encouraged to arrive to campus early, as the college’s parking lots will be congested.
It’s advised that guests arrive no later than 8:15 a.m. to ensure they do not miss any portions of the ceremony.
The morning will begin with a traditional graduation processional through the Honor Grove, followed by a welcome address from College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook.
Included among the college’s graduating class of 1,198 students are 700 female and 498 male graduates, and a combined 554 ethnic minorities, which represents a six percent increase from the 2011 graduating class. Seventeen international students will also be receiving degrees in 2012.
The average age of this year’s graduate is 26, up slightly from both 2010 and 2011 when the average age hovered at 25.5. Meanwhile the youngest member of this year’s class checks in at just 16, while the oldest is 64. In fact, five of this year’s graduates are in their 60s. Three students will celebrate birthdays on graduation day.
The class of 2012 also includes 46 veteran graduates, nearly doubling the amount of veterans that received degrees from COC in 2011 (24) and more than tripling the mark set in 2010 (14).
Academically, there are 251 students graduating with honors — which requires a 3.5 GPA or higher — and 12 students with perfect 4.0 GPAs, which grants them the status of valedictorians at the college. The average GPA of the class of 2012 is 3.07, down slightly from last year’s mark of 3.08.
Of the 57 different majors being represented at the ceremony, Biological and Physical Science will boast the most graduates (146), with Liberal Arts & Science (137) and Accounting (133) ranking second and third, respectively.
In addition, a record high 76.5 percent of the 2012 graduating class have taken one or more courses at the college’s Canyon Country campus, up from roughly 68.5 percent in 2011.
For more information about the College of the Canyons’ 43rd annual commencement ceremony please call (661) 259-7800 or visit www.canyons.edu.