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Modesto Junior College Celebrates 2018 Graduates
Danielle Simpson
Danielle Simpson

Modesto Junior College is celebrating the Class of 2018 at the 96th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, April 27 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 1,700 associate degrees to 1,400 students during the 2017-2018 academic year, pending recipients’ successful completion of the spring semester. Additionally, 899 certificates of achievement will be awarded to 600 individuals for this academic year. Approximately 550 of these graduates plan to participate in MJC’s annual Commencement Ceremony.

Addressing the Class of 2018 is graduating student Danielle Simpson presenting “In Search of a Lost Dream.” She is graduating with honors having earned an Associate of Arts in Psychology. She is transferring to California State University, Stanislaus in the fall to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Simpson hopes to eventually obtain a Master’s degree and possibly a Ph.D. in Psychology, with a career goal of becoming a school psychologist.

Student soloist Tasha Williams 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 2018 MJC Distinguished Alumni Award to Rick Armendariz, assistant police chief with the Modesto Police Department and the interim deputy city manager for the City of Modesto. He has over 23 years of experience in public service, including numerous assignments in patrol, gangs, homicide, internal affairs and as a public information officer, as well as overseeing units such as K-9s, SWAT, Hostage Negotiators, Traffic Unit and the Crime Reduction Team for the Modesto Police Department.

Additional dignitaries on the platform include Jill Stearns, MJC president; James Todd, 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; Curtis Martin, president of MJC Academic Senate; Yosemite Community College District (YCCD) trustees Leslie Beggs, Anne DeMartini and Abe Rojas, and Susan Yeager, vice chancellor of Fiscal Services for YCCD.

MJC graduates and their family and friends are invited to attend the annual Graduation Luncheon on Friday, April 20 at noon in the Mary Stuart Rogers Student Learning Center on West Campus. The luncheon features an address entitled “In the Midst of It All” by graduating student speaker Priscilla Ohnmacht, and presentation of a letter poem entitled “May the Force Be With Modesto Junior College” by Professor Sam Pierstorff. 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 (209) 575-6866.