Yavapai College Graduation (with photo gallery)
The Yavapai College, Verde Valley Campus, Commencement took place on the facilities lush campus grounds in Clarkdale on Friday evening. The kilt-wearing Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band led the Processional with the rousing sounds of bagpipes and marching drums, leading the graduates down the walk to their seats in front of the stage. Dr. Greg Gillespie, Vice President for Instruction and Student Services, opened the commencement with welcoming remarks, and introduced the evening's speakers. Retiring Division Dean for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Constance "Connie" Gilmore, gave the Faculty Address on the theme of being an educated and informed citizen. Stasia E. Ruskie, who completed her Associate of Applied Science in Nursing with a 4.0 GPA, performed the Student Address. The Yavapai College Chamber Singers, under the direction of Dr. Will Fisher, sang the "Star Spangled Banner" and "The Impossible Dream," the latter song echoing sentiments from Ruskie's speech. Retiring Yavapai College President, Dr. James F. Horton, Jr., gave the President's Address and began the Conferral of Degrees process with the assistance of Dr. Dale Fitzner, District Governing Board Chair. Rebecca Chavez, Dean for Science and Professional Studies, and Constance Gilmore performed the Introduction of Graduates. After closing remarks by Gillespie, the Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band led the newly minted graduates of 2011 down the walkway and into the future.