1,500 SBCC students graduate during commencement at La Playa Stadium
Although the clouds were gray and the air was cold, the Santa Barbara City College’s 2023 graduates were anything but.
On Friday evening, 1,500 students walked across the stage to officially graduate from SBCC. The 74th annual graduation took place in La Playa Stadium with the college in front of the crowd and the beach behind.
The event began with first-year student Iyana Brown performing the national anthem.
Afterward, the interim superintendent and president, Kindred Murillo, gave opening remarks to the graduates.
“Graduates, your graduation today is a testament to your strength, your resourcefulness, and resilience. You persevered through a pandemic … Think about that. You did not give up,” said Dr. Murillo in the beginning of her speech.
The tone of Dr. Murillo’s speech was optimistic yet assertive, giving the graduates a sense of pride as well as a call to action.
“One of the greatest gifts you can give is gratitude,” she continued, “and it is so important to express gratitude to those who have contributed to your success as students.”
Dr. Murillo ended her speech by asking the graduates to stand and thank their friends and family for coming to support them at this celebration.
Next, the president of the Academic Senate, Dr. Melanie Eckford-Prosser, gave a greeting to the graduates and crowd.
Her speech was heartfelt, sharing how excited she was to see the graduates complete something so meaningful.
Andrianina Rajaosera, a graduating student and a student trustee, gave the student’s remarks at the graduation.
She shared her thanks, echoing the sentiment of Dr. Murillo, and shared a bit of her story to the crowd.
Ms. Rajaosera is an international student from Madagascar and has found a home in Santa Barbara.
“I am grateful for the support I have received here!” exclaimed Ms. Rajaosera. “I got through the hardships of academic life through the help of SBCC.”
There was a touching moment when Ms. Rajaosera shared with the crowd that her family from overseas was at the graduation and had no idea she was going to speak.
Ms. Rajaosera finished her speech by having the graduates yell “I did it!” in honor of their accomplishments. The crowd went wild when she finished her speech.
Then the time came for all of the graduates to be handed their diplomas. One by one, students walked across the stage and had their name and academic emphasis read. You could faintly hear a roar of applause and cheers from each student’s support group in the crowd.
After almost an hour of recognition and celebration, the SBCC students were dismissed, and the SBCC Brass Ensemble ended the event with the music of “Pomp and Circumstance.”