Mission College celebrates Commencement

Smiling students
Mission College's 2024 Commencement had a theme of "Celebrating Excellence & Resilience"


SAN JOSE, CA -- In a vibrant celebration of academic achievements and unyielding spirit, Mission College held its Commencement Ceremony on May 21 themed “Celebrating Excellence & Resilience” at the San Jose Civic. The event was a testament to the hard work, intelligence, and resilience of the graduates, who shone brightly as they marked this pivotal milestone in their lives.

Chancellor Brad Davis opened the ceremony with an inspiring message, saying, “As we celebrate, we see in your faces your dedication, your intelligence, and all that you’ve done as inspiration for all that we can do in the coming years. Your accomplishments remind us that our task is more vital than ever, that tough times will inevitably pass, and that as they do, a new generation of dreamers, thinkers, and doers will be there to take up the charge in the Mission College tradition.”
President Dr. Seher Awan shared “To the graduating class of 2024, we need you. Now more than ever, we need you. Educated and empowered individuals to have a seat at the table where decisions are being made. And if they don’t want to give you a seat… you bring your own chair. Make space for yourself, your authentic self, because representation matters, your voice matters, you matter. And make space for those who come after you. Use your power to uplift others around you. You are role models and leaders within our community, making a difference.”
Students at graduation
Mission College celebrated its 2024 Commencement on May 21 at the historic San Jose Civic.

The West Valley-Mission Community College District Board of Trustees recognized Toey Lui with its 2024 Trustee Award. Board President Anne Kepner said that while at Mission, Lui has seized every opportunity to propel herself toward a career in tech where she will have a positive impact on the world. As an international student from Hong Kong, Toey has juggled being a student-athlete and working multiple jobs on-campus, including as a tutor in the Academic Support Center.

Additionally, Mission College students voted to recognize a faculty member that embodied a commitment to their craft, inspired students to achieve new heights, and demonstrated care for students. This year’s Faculty Member of the Year was Professor Tara Hardinge, who has enabled students to flourish through her passion and overall compassion for students.

The 2024 Valedictorian was Jennifer Noble, who shared a powerful message:

“Each of us has walked a unique path to get here. Maybe you’re the first in your family to graduate, or you were working two jobs to make this happen, maybe you balanced a baby on one hip and a laptop on the other, or you had folks doubting you every step of the way. But guess what? You proved them wrong. We… proved them wrong.”

Keynote Speaker Reyna Grade shared words of encouragement, emphasizing perseverance and continuous growth.

“So, when I think about what ‘My Mission is…’ it’s really about keeping that spirit alive. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.’ That’s the kind of thinking that got us here and it’s what will carry us forward. It’s about creating spaces where we can all keep asking, keep learning, and keep finding those places where we fit, no matter where life takes us.”

View a Livestream of Commencement.

Check out photos from Commencement.

Benjamin Demers
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
[email protected] 
About Mission College

Mission College is a leading institution of higher education dedicated to providing accessible, high-quality education that empowers students to succeed.

With a commitment to student success, equity, and innovation, Mission College offers a diverse range of academic programs, exceptional faculty, and supportive services to foster a thriving educational community. 

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