Friday was historic for South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) and the other Seattle Colleges – their first combined commencement, at Safeco Field. The photo and report are from SSC communications director Ty Swenson:
South Seattle College’s Class of 2017 graduates were honored at Seattle Colleges’ “Empowered to Achieve” Commencement Ceremony on June 16 at Safeco Field. More than 900 South graduates were celebrated (with more than 300 attending the ceremony), having earned a wide variety of degrees, certificates and diplomas to support their future endeavors.
South Seattle College is part of the Seattle Colleges District (which also includes Seattle Central College, North Seattle College and the Seattle Vocational Institute), and for the first time in district history, 900 students from all campuses came together for a combined ceremony. They were joined by family, friends, and college faculty and staff.
“Tonight we celebrated an amazing class of South students who have opened the door to their future in pursuit of fulfilling, family-supporting careers,” said South Seattle College President Gary Oertli. “I admire our graduates for their dedication, and thank the important people in their lives – family, friends, instructors and allies – for supporting them every step of the way.”
Outgoing Student Body President Jackie Tran, a South graduate who plans to transfer to a four-year university to earn his bachelor’s degree in engineering, spoke during commencement.
“Now we are all Seattle Colleges graduates,” Tran said. “A new chapter in our lives begins now.”
South Seattle College conferred a total of 905 awards this year, including 460 associate transfer degrees that enable students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities in Washington and beyond to complete their bachelor’s degrees. Another 257 graduates earned associate degrees and certificates that prepare them to enter the workforce immediately. Sixty-eight graduates earned their bachelor’s degrees, and 120 graduates earned their high school diploma or equivalent, taking a significant step toward increased earning potential and future educational opportunities.