Joshua Tree — It was a night of celebration at the Copper Mountain College Bell Center Thursday night as the community gathered to honor the 2019 graduates in their completion of their associate degrees.
CMC offers students pathways to earn their associate degrees, certification in career subjects like nursing and high school diplomas.
Hundreds of CMC students in their caps and gowns trickled into the gym with their families cheering up on the bleachers. Jeffrey Haig, a teacher at CMC and the chosen faculty speaker, kicked off the speeches for the night by reminding all of the students in the audience to take what they learned at CMC into whatever they decide to do in life. Many of the students will be going on to four-year universities in the fall and others will begin careers.
“To spend your days with people who have different life experiences than your own and to add that experience to the knowledge you’ve acquired at Copper Mountain College will give you something really important,” Haig said. “Never forget your time here.”
Student speaker Carly Patricia Harmony Quintero Jacobs echoed the sentiment and recognized the special community that CMC has.
“We have such a special group of supportive individuals,” she said. “After I graduated high school in 2017 I wasn’t sure of where to continue my educational journey. … I needed to have my own experience and I needed to shape my own future. I am so happy I made the right choice.”
Jacobs completed two associate degrees for transfer in her two years at CMC and will be moving on to a four-year university in the fall to study psychology.
Keynote speaker Tomas D. Morales, president of California State University, San Bernardino, reminded everyone that education is a lifelong journey. Looking into the audience and at the variety of students graduating, he recalled his mother, who pursued her college degree at the age of 40 and started at a community college.
“Community colleges provide that kind of opportunity,” he said. “It’s never too late to begin your journey.”
After the final speaker, more than 200 students were awarded their degrees and certificates and the final turning of their tassels proclaimed them as graduates of Copper Mountain College.