YVC Celebrates 90th Annual Commencement Ceremony on June 21, 2019

rows of smiling graduates

Yakima, WA-Yakima Valley College will host its 90th Annual Commencement Ceremony on June 21, 2019 at 7:00pm in the Yakima Valley SunDome. The graduating class of 2019 includes 1,090 students ranging in age 17 to 66. Fifteen of the students are veterans and 171 are Running Start students, simultaneously earning their high school diploma and an associate degree. The college will award a total of 1,154 degrees and certificates including bachelor of applied science, transfer degrees, professional/technical degrees, and certificates.

Mr. Ricardo Garcia will present this year’s keynote address. Garcia was one of the four founders of radio station KDNA 91.9, the Spanish-language outlet that took to the airwaves in Central Washington in 1979. Mr. Garcia’s work as a social worker spans more than 40 years. He was the first executive secretary for the commission on Mexican American Affairs, served as the executive director of Northwest Rural Opportunities, and also was the general manager of Radio KDNA-FM. He retired in 2008.

The student commencement speech will be delivered by YVC graduate Anita Valdovinos. Valdovinos, born and raised in the Yakima Valley, has completed her associate in arts transfer degree. She enrolled at Yakima Valley College in 2015. She plans to continue her education at Central Washington University studying zoology.

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

  • Faculty Emeritus Award: Ms. Rhonda Taylor, retired YVC Nursing Instructor
  • Distinguished Service Award: Mr. Bob Berry, Station Manager, KIMA, KUNW, CW9

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

  • Robert M. Leadon Excellence in Teaching: Ms. Kathy Laws, YVC College and Career Readiness Instructor
  • Sherrie and Daryl Parker Faculty Award: Mr. Ben Mayo, YVC Mathematics Instructor
  • Classified Employee of the Year: Mr. Richard Miller, YVC Information Technology Specialist III for the Technology Services Department

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

  • Distinguished Alumnus Award: Ms. Verlynn K. Best, CEO and President Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce 

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

Press Release Contacts:

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