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Walla Walla Community College

Nearly 1,000 students receive certificates or degrees

This week Walla Walla Community College celebrated the accomplishments of 986 students who completed their workforce training, associate or bachelor’s degrees during the 2023-2024 academic year.

Approximately 380 students and their families participated in commencement ceremonies and celebrations that began Thursday, including Nuestra Celebración de Graduación for Latino/Hispanic graduates and their families on the Walla Walla campus. 

On Friday, ceremonies included Commencement and Nurse Pinning ceremonies in Clarkston. On Saturday, WWCC held Commencement and Nurse Pinning ceremonies on its Walla Walla campus.

For the 2023-2024 academic year, WWCC awarded 468 certificates, 589 associate degrees and 38 bachelor’s degrees, including 273 certificates and diplomas earned by students while they were incarcerated.

Approximately 40% of this year’s graduates were the first in their immediate families to attend college. They include Charles Boykins, President of the WWCC Student Government Association. After two unsuccessful attempts at college, Boykins, 43, enrolled at WWCC after moving to Walla Walla with his wife and four daughters. He completed a two-year degree at WWCC on an accelerated schedule and served as President of the Student Government Association. On Saturday, he was a featured commencement speaker.

“WWCC is more than a college; it is a place where new ideas and diverse thoughts are organically grown,” Boykins reminded his fellow graduates. “As my professor, Dr. Elizabeth Guerra said: ‘Community college is where the revolution starts.’ Graduating from college is a revolutionary act. We are all revolutionaries in this sense.”

Boykins will be moving with his family to Vancouver, Wash., where he plans to finish his bachelor’s degree in Human and Social Services. 

“You have worked tirelessly on achieving this major accomplishment,” Boykins reminded graduates. “You are all so talented and you have something to say, so let your voice be heard.”

Sergio Hernandez, a member of the WWCC Board of Trustees, also urged the 2024 WWCC graduates to go on to make a meaningful difference.

“This is a world that needs what you have learned in school,” Hernandez said.

He challenged graduates: “Make this world a better place…whether by an act of kindness, even if just a friendly smile. Make this world a better place…by making new discoveries in your chosen field of work. Make this world a better place…by caring for those around you. Make this world a better place…by leading with integrity and honesty. Make this world a better place…through perseverance and hard work. In other words, ‘Yes you can…si tu puedes.’ You can continue to awe us with your creativity, thoughtfulness, imagination and initiative.”

image with Charles Boykins at graduation
imge of Class of 2024