Photo By Todd Haynie: Eastern Arizona College’s 129th annual Commencement Ceremony is set for Friday, May 11, at EAC’s John Mickelson Stadium at 7:30 p.m., where more than 600 candidates for graduation will be on hand. The entire community is welcome to attend this important event. Pictured are EAC Early Childhood professor, JoAnn Morales, center, her daughter, Santana, left, and her daughter-in-law, Erika, at last year’s commencement ceremony.
By Taryn Lamb
THATCHER — Eastern Arizona College’s 129th annual Commencement Ceremony is set for Friday, May 11, at EAC’s John Mickelson Stadium at 7:30 p.m., where once again a record number of candidates for graduation will be on hand. The entire community is welcome to attend this important event in the lives of more than the 600 candidates for graduation.
The students and the assembled audience of family and well-wishers will be called to order by incoming ASEAC student body president, Dallin Crandall, from Show Low.
Taking the podium on behalf of the graduating class will be Teldon Larson. Larson is a member of the Engineering Club and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He was awarded Outstanding Sophomore Physics Student and Mr. Physics (Spring 2017). Larson is transferring to Arizona State University to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. His career goal is to work at General Motors and help design new cars.
Dr. Bruce Bishop, faculty speaker for the ceremony and EAC’s director of choral music for 17 years, will retire at the end of the Spring 2018 semester. The long-held tradition of music excellence at EAC has been enhanced through Dr. Bishop’s tremendous efforts and dedication. Since 2001, he has shared exceptional musical moments in the choir room and on stage with hundreds of EAC students. From his A Cappella Choir to his Men’s Chorus and The Guyz to Company, Bishop has consistently sought to convey his love of music, attention to detail, and musicality.
Throughout his career, he has been a vital part of EAC’s student experience. He is known for his ability to work with students and bring out the very best in them. Students and co-workers have praised him for his focus on professionalism and musicianship.
The special guest speaker for the evening will be Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, a national leader in higher education and a strong advocate for access, equity, and student success. She serves as Chancellor of the Maricopa County Community College District – one of the largest community college systems in the nation which serves nearly 200,000 students with the support of 10,000 faculty and staff members across 10 colleges.
She currently serves on the American Council of Education (ACE), American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Excelencia in Education, League for Innovation, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and Arizona Chamber of Commerce.
Harper-Marinick has been the recipient of various awards and recognition, including 2018 Most Admired Leaders in the Valley, 2017 Valley Leadership Woman of the Year, 2017 Athena Public Sector, 2015 Woman of the Year from the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
She is originally from the Dominican Republic and came to Arizona in 1982 as a Fulbright Scholar to complete graduate work at Arizona State University. She holds Master and PH.D. degrees in education from ASU.
Concluding Friday evening’s commencement ceremony will be the conferring of Associate of Arts, Associate of Business, Associate of General Studies, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science degrees to the graduation candidates.
Prior to the commencement ceremony, the EAC Alumni Association will hold its annual Alumni Banquet in the main dining hall of the Activities Center beginning at 5 p.m. Members of the EAC class of 1967 and this year’s graduates and guests are invited to attend. The alumni association will be giving special recognition to members of EAC’s class of ’67.
For questions concerning commencement call Dr. Randall Skinner, the commencement director, at (928) 428-8252. For questions regarding the Alumni Banquet contact the EAC Alumni Association at (928) 428-8295.