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Laura Austin Photo / Nearly 600 graduates participated last Friday at the CCCC’s commencement.

Cerro Coso hosted 50th Annual Commencement last Friday

Cerro Coso Community College Jessica Weston DA III, Public Information Officer–      Cerro Coso Community College (CCCC) graduates,  after years of hard work, late nights, and sacrifice culminated in two separate commencement ceremonies for a record number of Cerro Coso graduates.

     “College can change your life,” stated Dr. Sean Hancock to the graduates.  “A college degree is not merely a piece of paper at the end of an educational endeavor.  It represents intellectual pursuit, hard work, and experiences that can broaden your worldview and change the way you look at yourself and the life you hope to lead.”

 “This is a very special milestone in Cerro Coso’s history as we celebrate 50 years as an independent institution of higher learning,” said Dr. Hancock to the assembly.  “That’s 50 years of ensuring the success of every student we serve, creating a legacy of belonging.”

 “Cerro Coso’s founding president, Dr. Richard Jones, recently shared that what started out over five decades ago as a vision of a handful of dedicated college leaders almost didn’t happen.  The idea of a college East of the Sierra Nevada mountains was not a welcomed idea by the California Higher Education Coordinating Council in Sacramento.  Twice they rejected the request for the establishment of a new college.  Only through the persistence of those dedicated college leaders did the third proposal get approved by the council by one vote in 1970.   The college that almost never existed now serves the largest geographical area of any community college in the State of California.  The college was designed to serve 540 students when it opened in 1973; it serves nearly 8,000 students each year across our vast 18,000 square mile service area.”

  “This year’s 50th Anniversary celebration reminds us of whose shoulders we stand upon in achieving our current success and the foundation we must sustain for the generations that follow,” said Dr. Hancock.

 Ceremonies were held on May 3, 2024, at the Eastern Sierra College Center in Bishop and May 10, 2024, at the Ridgecrest campus.

 A total of 565 graduates earned a record number of 1020 associate degrees and certificates this year.  Sixty-two are still in high school and graduated from college before receiving their high school diplomas later this month.

 “The future is yours, and you are prepared for what lies ahead,” concluded Hancock.  “You are now a part of Cerro Coso’s History.”