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Henley Gate photos marks rite of passage for UCSB grads

UCSB grads take photos by Henley gate before their weekend ceremonies

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.- In between finals, soon-to-be UC Santa Barbara graduates are taking photos at Henley Gate.

Jacob Harwood said he heard about this rite of passage from friends and figured he should take some pictures for his family.

Undergrads Andrew Vasquez and Sophia Papaloa created SunnySBgrads on Instagram to publicize their part-time photography businesses. They make it affordable for fellow students to take graduation photos and have been booked by many students.

Priscilla Diaz paid a friend to take her photos. She brought along a lot of graduation stoles or sashes to choose from. The stoles are draped over shoulders to denote achievement.

One of her prized stoles shows that she will be the first in her family to graduate college.

The psychology major already has a job lined up in Michigan thanks to the encouragement of a professor.

Some UCSB Gauchos decided to wear their basketball uniforms for the photo shoot.

Danae Miller, #0, said her athletic ability covered her tuition.

Kiana Vierra, #22, said she appreciated the cars honking as they passed by the grads posing at the popular entrance to campus.

Megan Anderson, #30, Lauren Lee, #11, and the others said they didn't actually know much about the gate's namesake, but they knew Henley was a big donor to the university.

It is named after Jeff Henley, the Vice Chairman of Oracle Corporation who earned his bachelor's degree at UCSB in 1966.

Diaz said she took her first photo at the gate as a freshman, so she wanted to make sure to take another photo there to bookend her experience that included some trying times during the COVID 19 pandemic.

All the students are looking forward to in-person graduation ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday, something they won't take for granted.

For graduation information, visit

Article Topic Follows: Education
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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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