Celebrating Student Success!

Porterville College Class of 2024

Pictures from the event


BY ALEXIS ESPINOZA for the Porterville Recorder


While the sun began to set behind the bleachers of Jamison Stadium, the graduates of Porterville College’s Class of 2024 walked onto the track ready to begin their Friday night by receiving their degrees. Despite the long list of 560 graduates, the 96th commencement ceremony was short and sweet, and the stadium was packed full of friends and family bursting with pride for their scholars.


At 7 p.m. sharp, PC President Dr. Claudia Habib led the gowned staff down the center of the football field followed by two long lines of students draped across both sides of the arena. As the graduates walked by the bleachers they visually inspected the seats, searching for their loved ones. When they were spotted, smiles erupted and hands quickly cut through the air in excited waves.


As the graduates settled into their seats on the field, Primavera Monarrez, PC’s Vice President of Students Services, welcomed the crowd and directed their attention to cadets from Porterville Military Academy who marched onto the stage to present the state and national flags. The PC Chorale graced the audience with their rendition of The National Anthem before Habib approached the microphone to deliver her commencement address.


“This commencement ceremony signifies the capstone of your work and the reflection of student success, and student success is at the heart of what I do every day, what gets me up in the morning, and guides my priorities as president. First, congratulations are in order to the class of 2024,” said Habib. “Your dedicated hours in the classroom or online are to be commended. I look forward to seeing your continued growth and someday to witness what great leaders and role models you have become.”


As Habib returned to her seat, the commencement proceeded to the recognition of Dr. Glenn Roquemore who received the second annual Porterville College Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Roquemore was honored for his accomplishments in the educational field and his advocacy for student success. He's the President Emeritus of Irvine Valley College and has extensive and remarkable experience establishing budgets, and recently became Founder/CEO of Roquemore Higher Education Consultants, LLC.


Roqumore fondly spoke about the power of a community college to the PC Class of 2024, urging them to hold steadfast to their dream and continue forward no matter what.


“Focus on your path,” said Roquemore. “Never let anybody or any life circumstance stop you. There will be those who are trying to stand in the way, that's all a part of life. Be ready for it… Stay focused on your goals and you'll be surprised at how often you look back and realize the impact of your time at Porterville College. As you navigate the uncertainties in life remember the words of Nelson Mandela who said ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ So go for it armed with the knowledge and wisdom gained here and make your mark on the world in your own unique way.” 


A list of graduate acknowledgments followed Roquemore’s recognition. More than 30 students were asked to rise from their seats as they were honored with PC Academic Senate Distinguished Student Awards. Elxias Ismael Hernandez received the college’s top recognition as the PC Academic Senate Scholar of the Year for 2024. A host of graduates were also mentioned for their accomplishments as Honor Graduates and Phi Theta Kappa members. 


Just before rows of students began to make their way to the stage to receive their degree and snap a photo with Dr. Habib, Associated Students of PC President Alicia Vargas stepped forward to congratulate her classmates and offer some encouragement as they venture forth into the future.


“Graduation is not just about receiving a diploma but rather the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and determination…,” said Vargas. “I want everyone to remember that success is not measured solely by achievements or accolades. It's defined by the impact we have on the world and the lives of those around us. Congratulations class of 2024. Today we stand as living testament to the power of perseverance and the boundless potential each and every one of us has.”


As each graduate walked from the stage grasping rolled and tied papers, individual celebratory moments culminated into a collective wave of joy. Some students raised their fists into the air displaying their accomplishments and smiling widely to their loved ones. Others clasped the paper to their chest, exhaling sighs of personal victory.


After every graduate had crossed the stage, Dr. Habib and Kern Community College District Board president John Corkins announced the time had come for the students to stand and grab their tassels. With a small flick of the wrist or movement of the air, overjoyed graduates confirmed their success by turning their tassels from left to right. The ceremony ended in a roar of applause and the graduates were excused to celebrate with their friends and family.