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Chandler-Gilbert CC celebrates its 1,405 college graduates

Posted 5/22/24

Commencement at CGCC was held May 10.

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Chandler-Gilbert CC celebrates its 1,405 college graduates


​For students, their graduation is always marked by the year, and it’s this number that’s used in every other celebration for years to come.

But at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, the class year is only one of the very important numbers that is commemorated.

For the Class of 2024, the most significant number is 1,405. That’s how many graduates earned 1,236 degrees and 375 certificates this spring, with the youngest graduate only 14 years old, and the oldest 64.

Commencement was held May 10.

Although most students fall into two categories — right out of high school or adult re-entry — their degrees are celebrated with the same significance and excitement, no matter their age or the years it took to get here.

Two such graduates are Olivia Ward and Gisselle Marquez. Both are not only students; they also work at CGCC as peer success coaches.

In this role, their job is to help navigate college students on how to be successful, specifically first-year students. And as they have completed this work, Ward and Marquez have also been very noteworthy themselves.

Ward started at CGCC after graduating from Higley High School in 2021. She majored in criminal justice and had some pretty big wins as a student.

“My biggest accomplishment at CGCC was building relationships with people that will last a lifetime as well as earning many scholarships, including the All Arizona Scholarship that will allow me to graduate with my bachelor’s debt-free,” Ward said.

Up next for Ward is transferring to Northern Arizona University or the University of Arizona to finish her bachelor’s and then on to pursue her master’s to make a difference within the justice system.

Marquez began CGCC as an adult re-entry student, and she ended as a graduate speaker, among her many great accomplishments.

A 2016 graduate of Gila Ridge High School, Marquez returned to school as an adult, majoring in business, entrepreneurship and management at CGCC.

During her time at the college, she also became president of the LatinX student organization and was a recipient of the Maria L. Hesse Scholarship.

Marquez is transferring to NAU in Flagstaff to continue her studies for a bachelor’s in business administration.
She had an encouraging message to all students in her commencement speech.

“I am so proud of each and every one of you that dedicated years to your future, and I am immensely proud of those that came back after taking a break,” said Marquez. “No matter how long — and no matter the circumstances.”

“Chandler-Gilbert Community College is a special place that gives access and provides opportunities to all students at different points in their life,” said Veronica Hipolito, Vice President of Student Affairs. “At CGCC, we are proud of offer in-demand certificates and degrees to help students achieve their goals and contribute back to the community.”

Learn more about CGCC at cgc.edu.

Chandler-Gilbert Community College has 1,405 graduates this spring, who earned 1,236 degrees and 375 certificates. Commencement was held May 10.
Chandler-Gilbert Community College has 1,405 graduates this spring, who earned 1,236 degrees and 375 certificates. Commencement was held May 10.

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