Wharton County Junior College graduates await their diplomas in the Gene Bahnsen Gymnasium on the Wharton campus. The college held two ceremonies on May 13, with nearly 300 graduates participating.
WHARTON, TEXAS – Nearly 300 graduates participated in Wharton County Junior College’s commencement ceremonies this spring. Two ceremonies were held on May 13 at the Gene Bahnsen Gymnasium on the Wharton campus, with a morning event for graduates earning an Associate of Arts degree or an Associate of Science degree and an afternoon session for those obtaining an Associate of Applied Science degree.
The ceremonies were well attended, with 900 visitors for the morning event and 1,100 for the afternoon. The ceremonies were broadcast at the Horton Foote Theatre in the Duson-Hansen Fine Arts Building to accommodate the maximum capacity crowds. WCJC students and faculty were also recognized during the events. The President’s Award was presented to Lydia Junek of Rosenberg, and Academic Excellence awards were presented to Sarah Marks of Rosenberg, Joanna Vennekotter of Sugar Land and Shannon Smith of Columbus. Excellence in Teaching awards went to Andrew Berezin, Instructor of Biology, and Dr. Paul Spellman, Instructor of History.
Included in the presentations were 12 Wharton High School students who received associate degrees as part of the Realizing Our Academic Reward (ROAR) Academy. ROAR is a collaborative effort between WCJC and
Wharton Independent School District that enables a select group of students to earn upwards of 60 college-level credit hours while still enrolled in high school. ROAR students completing enough credits to earn an associate’s degree in 2023 were Cherish Evans, Juliet Flores, Jazir Guajardo, Jason Guzman, Kateria Knight, Litzy Martinez, Angel Riojas, Janeasia Sanders, Ariana Thompson, Leilani Veazey, Seth Velasquez and Miguel Zarate. Also graduating with an associate’s degree were Bay City High School graduates Jenna Nelson and Michael Vargas, as well as homeschool student Zoe Webster.
Special music for the ceremonies was provided by WCJC Instructor of Music Debra Lemson.