YVC Celebrates 89th Commencement Ceremony on June 15, 2018

rows of smiling graduates

Yakima Valley College will host its 89th Commencement Ceremony on June 15, 2018 at 7:00pm in the Yakima Valley SunDome. The graduating class of 2018 includes 1,086 students ranging in age 17 to 65. Seventeen of the students are veterans and 168 are Running Start students, simultaneously earning their high school diploma and an associate degree. The college will award a total of 1,239 degrees and certificates including bachelor of applied science, transfer degrees, professional/technical degrees, and certificates.

This year’s keynote address will be presented by Ms. Jan Yoshiwara. Yoshiwara is executive director of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), an agency that administers Washington’s system of 34 public community and technical colleges. The SBCTC sets policy, allocates state operating and capital funds to the colleges, strategically plans the two-year college mission, and approves educational programs.

The student commencement speech will be delivered by YVC graduate Erica Lua-Alonzo. Lua-Alonzo, born and raised in the Yakima Valley, has completed her associate of applied science degree in bilingual administrative office assistant. She enrolled at Yakima Valley College pursing a degree from the business technology program in the spring of 2016. Following YVC she plans to continue her career as a Special Programs Administrative Assistant and District Translator with the East Valley School District.

The college also honors faculty and outstanding community members with the following awards:

  • Faculty Emeritus Award: Mr. Duane Reed, retired YVC English Instructor
  • Distinguished Service Award: BORArchitecure

The Yakima Valley College Foundation has the tradition of presenting three awards during the commencement ceremony:

  • Robert M. Leadon Excellence in Teaching: Mr. Rajkumar Raj, YVC Engineering Instructor
  • Sherrie and Daryl Parker Faculty Award: Dr. Kelley Denome, YVC Veterinary Technology Instructor
  • Classified Employee of the Year: Ms. Rebecca Cikauskas, YVC Program Assistant for the Nursing Program

The Yakima Valley College Alumni Association will honor an alum. This year’s award recipient is:

  • Distinguished Alumnus Award: Mr. Terry Abeyta, Personal Injury Lawyer

For additional details, including complete bios and photographs of the speakers and award recipients visit www.yvcc.edu/commencement.


Jay Frank / jfrank@yvcc.edu / 509.574.6870
Stefanie Menard / smenard@yvcc.edu / 509.574.4646