(Bakersfield, CA - May 1, 2014) – 100 years ago, the first 13 students at Bakersfield College saw higher education as their road to their futures. Now, 100 years later, Bakersfield College’s class of 2014 is graduating, and headed on the road to their futures. More than 1,100 students have completed the necessary coursework to achieve an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree, and Bakersfield College is celebrating in a big way.
On Friday, May 16, at 5 p.m., Bakersfield College’s centennial commencement will honor the achievements of the class of 2014, while celebrating the college’s 100-year history of higher education in the area. To start the evening, Bakersfield College will provide a free dinner to the first 5,000 guests on the lawn north of Memorial Stadium. Catered by Bakersfield College Culinary Arts and Food Services, the dinner includes Centennial Chicken Caesar Salad, bread, dessert, and drinks. Dinner was made possible through the fundraising efforts of the Centennial Celebration Committee.
Guests will then make their way to the east side of Memorial Stadium, where they will receive a special gift to commemorate the evening, and an event program. Bakersfield’s own Mento Buru, which includes alumni from the Bakersfield College band, will entertain the crowd.
At 7 p.m., the commencement processional, with the class of 2014, will enter Memorial Stadium. All Bakersfield College alumni and retirees are invited to attend commencement and walk in an honor lap before filling reserved seats in Memorial Stadium. Alumni and retirees are encouraged to wear their regalia or their finest Renegade red, and meet on the lawn near to the Field House (south of the Gym). Bakersfield College staff will be there to help honor lap participants line up for the event.
Bakersfield College president Dr. Sonya Christian will preside over the commencement, and will be joined by along with Kern Community College District Board of Trustees president John Rodgers and chancellor Sandra Serrano, to confer degrees on the students who have completed a course of study.
The most senior of the class of 2014 1,158 graduates is Charlynn McCarthy, who was born in 1949. Charlynn earned an Associate of Science in Web Development. Women outnumber men 774 to 384. Most notably, 809 of the 1,158 associate degree recipients plan to transfer to four-year schools in the fall.
Following the presentation of degrees, the lights of Memorial Stadium will dim and guests will be treated to a fireworks show signifying the official end of Bakersfield College’s centennial year. The processional will feature a special Bakersfield College treat as faculty and staff create a pathway for the class of 2014 to exit Memorial Stadium.
Bakersfield College’s centennial commencement celebration is free, and no tickets are needed. Complete details about commencement are available online at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu. No balloons will be allowed in Memorial Stadium.
On-air appearances are available and welcomed in the time leading up to commencement by calling Amber Chiang at 395-4256. For assistance in facilitating interviews on commencement evening, please call Amber Chiang at 794-9684. To physically locate Amber during Commencement, find the sound booth at center field near the bleachers.