BY NANCY MAZMANIAN
Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. Head counselor Scott Cooper initiates the Transfer Ceremony.
The annual College of the Desert Transfer Recognition Ceremony took place May 6 at the McCallum Theatre. Over 382 students registered for the event which is 108 more than last years class, making this the biggest graduating and transferring class at College of the Desert.
Prior to the commencement ceremony, COD holds their annual Transfer Recognition Ceremony every year to recognize those students who will be continuing their education at a four-year university.
The grand hall of the McCallum was filled with proud families and friends, and most importantly anxious transfer students who await their final days at COD. The ceremony was initiated by a few words from the Interim Vice President of Student Success, Jeff Baker and President Joel Kinnaman shared a message for the students.
“Not only does your investment in your education benefit you but your family, friends and our communities. You like the 125,000 College of the Desert alumni who came before you are role models. You, like they, will become our elected officials, our doctors, our engineers, our entrepreneurs, our city managers, our community leaders, our teachers and counselors,” said Kinnaman.
Transfer students were then given the opportunity to share their accomplishments and their journey with their fellow classmates. First up, was Eric Antonio Aguilera, who will be transferring to UC Berkeley as a political science major in pursuit of becoming a congressman. He began by expressing his gratitude towards his professors who inspired him to reach his potential and who taught him. He also thanked his grandparents who spent days working in fields and who brought him to the US in hopes of a better life.
“Many of us come from different backgrounds and cultures. Many of us have different political, religious, cultural and moral beliefs, but there is one thing that makes us the same and that is at the end of the day that we’re proud Roadrunners. So wherever you may be headed please do not forget where you came from, while you’re there and where you’re going,” said Aguilera.
The second student speaker was a theatre arts major, Rebecca Rodriguez who will be heading to UC Irvine. She said, “We have the capability to create the world for ourselves when we transfer.” She started taking classes back in 2010, and now by 2019, she is graduating with two associates degrees in music and theatre. Despite financial struggles she and her family faced, she completed it and now is continuing her education in hopes to get her name in lights by performing in musicals.
For many College of the Desert students, the idea of transferring seems difficult and unrealistic. After hearing the many inspiring stories from different students it just goes to show that everyone’s path may differ, whether that be in time or hurdles you have to face but seeing the vast amount of students who are moving forward it can only inspire many more community college students in hopes to continue their education.