SCCC commencement set for Sunday

The commencement ceremony for the graduates of the Southwest Colorado Community College’s East and West campuses will take place at 2 pm Sunday, May 6, in the Whalen Gymnasium at Fort Lewis College. Diplomas will be presented and outstanding students.

Approximately 140 students from the SCCC East and West campuses are eligible to receive an associate degree or certificate of completion. The graduates, their families, dignitaries and guests will be greeted by PCC President Patty Erjavec following introductions by Shannon South, Dean of the SCCC West Campus in Mancos/Cortez.

Erjavec will present Associate of Arts degree recipient Jason Harris with a Distinguished Scholar Award. It is given to a first-time college student who has overcome major obstacles in life to complete a transfer degree while attending the school full time within 3½ years and has made plans to attend a 4-year school.

In addition, Dr. Lynn Urban, Dean of the SCCC East Campus in Durango, will present two students with Student Alumni Awards for overcoming major life obstacles to excel academically. They are SCCC-East’s Candice Clevano, an Associate of Applied Science degree recipient specializing in Nursing; and SCCC-West’s Heather Lewis, who has earned a Medical Assistant certificate.

The commencment speaker will be Vince Papale, who placed for the Philadelphia Eagles. He became an inspirational figure in his small Pennsylvania hometown in 1976 when he defied all odds by attending an open tryout with the Eagles and making the team at the age of 30. Still the oldest non-placekicker rookie in NFL history, he played four seasons with the Eagles, during which time he was named special teams captain and became the subject of a Hollywood movie.

The Disney movie “Invincible,” was released in 2006 and starred Mark Wahlberg as Papale.