By Kristin Grafft

Staff Writer

As graduation day approaches, students and teachers are reminded that the rituals and ceremony of graduation are still an important part of the community college experience.

The commencement ceremony will be Thursday, June 6 at 6 p.m., at Veterans Stadium and attendance is not limited to graduates’ friends and family. Teachers and students have expressed the importance of teacher attendance too.

Maria Lopez, the Associated Student Body Vice President, is graduating this semester and will be attending the ceremony.

“I have been looking forward to it. The tradition and ceremony is important to me because it is a transition of one stage of life to another. It demonstrates the notion of ‘keep moving forward’ and definitely makes you feel accomplished emotionally,” she said.

Lopez also explained how important it is for teachers to attend the event. She said it shows the students how the faculty supports them and shows unity and respect between the students and them.

Joe Smith, 24, a member of Thane Honor Society and men’s social service club Men of Aztlan, will be graduating with a broadcast certificate and transferring to Cal State Long Beach. Smith is not only attending as a graduate, but he will also be assembling, organizing and leading the other students throughout the event as a commencement marshal.

Smith is excited about the ceremony as well as his role in it. “It’s an honor being selected (as a commencement marshal) and finishing up at LBCC and moving onto the next step. I’ve grown a lot here,” he said.

Regarding teacher attendance, Smith said it helps a lot when teachers who had a big impact on you are there.

English teacher Velvet Pearson agrees with Smith and said, “Students enjoy seeing faculty in their regalia out to support them, especially when they get to have one last visit or at least a wave to their favorite professor.”

Kirk Canzano, a business administration teacher, wants to encourage more teachers to come out and support the students as well.

“Faculty represent themselves in the classroom as being interested in each student’s success. We confirm this when we come to celebrate their success,” he said.

Canzano has attended past ceremonies and said, “I have witnessed in the eyes of those graduates I have taught personally that my attendance meant something to them. It is a small sacrifice on my part to add meaning to someone’s celebration of success.”

Canzano also encourages more students to attend as an example of perseverance to younger siblings, nieces, nephews and friends.

Information about the rehearsal, faculty reception and after grad reception is on LBCC’s website, along with other information like details on cap and gown rentals.