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Allan Hancock College celebrates 2020 graduates with drive-through commencement


SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Allan Hancock College celebrated 2020 graduates at the Santa Maria Campus with a drive-thru commencement ceremony on Wednesday.

A total of 320 students from Hancock’s record-breaking 2020 graduating class participated in the safe and socially distanced ceremony, and were able to drive onto campus, walk across a stage to receive their diploma and take a photo. 

During the ceremony, graduating students and their families entered the campus in their vehicles as staff members and volunteers cheered them on.

Then the graduates had an opportunity to take a photo before returning to their cars and leaving the campus.

"I'm jazzed. This is something I've been waiting to do for a really long time and it means a whole heck of a lot to me to walk that stage and to have a degree," said graduating student Vanessa Gray.

In May, a record-breaking 1,888 students in Hancock’s 99th class graduated, earning more than 2,507 degrees and 850 certificates.

A total of 323 of those students graduated with honors, with another 12 students graduating with high honors. A total of 102 graduates received the Hancock Promise, a program that provides graduating high school students in the Allan Hancock Joint Community College District with their first year at Hancock tuition-free.

“Today is about celebrating your accomplishments and remembering this as a milestone in your journey, whether you’re starting a new career or heading off to a university,” said Hancock Associate Superintendent and Vice President of Student Services Nohemy Ornelas, Ed.D. “It is truly incredible to note all you were able to achieve during this pandemic. Your ability to show you family and friends that you can achieve your academic goals is amazing.”

The ceremony was also streamed live on Hancock’s website and social media for family members, friends and the public. 

Hancock will continue to offer most of its classes remotely for the fall 2020 semester.

Fall classes begin Aug. 17. Financial aid and other important resources will remain available to ensure student success.

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


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