Olympian is Keynote Speaker at 2017 Commencement
June 27, 2017
The entire community is warmly invited to Lake Tahoe Community College’s annual Commencement Ceremony on Friday, June 30 at 6 p.m. on LTCC’s soccer field, located next to the Physical Education building on campus. The theme of this year’s ceremony is “Follow Your Dreams,” a topic that will be addressed by several speakers, including keynote speaker Jamie Anderson, Olympic gold medalist and South Lake Tahoe native. No tickets are required to attend Commencement, and community members, students and family members are all welcome. A free reception with light refreshments will be served following the ceremony.
Approximately 151 students are graduating with Associate degrees from LTCC this year. Ten students are graduating with highest honors, which requires a 4.0 GPA. Another 26 students are graduating with honors, which requires a GPA between 3.65 and 3.99. Seventy-eight of these AA degree earners are receiving one of 13 transfer degrees, which guarantees them a seat as a junior at a California State University this fall. Also being honored on Friday are LTCC’s vocational certificate earners. These 38 students took coursework in a number of specialized fields, earning a career-focused certificate in the process.
The keynote address at Friday’s ceremony will be delivered by Anderson, one of the top female snowboarders in the world. She helped the United States to a gold-medal sweep in Olympic Slopestyle competition at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, becoming the first ever women’s Olympic Slopestyle gold medalist in the process.
Anderson and her eight siblings, one of whom is graduating from LTCC on Friday, grew up in South Lake Tahoe. She was introduced to snowboarding by her two older sisters, and began riding at age nine. She quickly rose up in the ranks, becoming the youngest Winter X Games medalist at age 15. With 11 X Games medals to her name and her success at the Olympics, Anderson was named the women’s TTR World Tour Champion in 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014, and the Winter Dew Cup Champion in 2011 and 2012. She’s been on the cover of ESPN Magazine and Sport’s Illustrated, and has won four ESPY awards, including for Best Female Action Sports Athlete.
Anderson is set for the 2018 Olympic Games, where she plans to compete for the U.S. in Slopestyle as well as the newly added Olympic sport of Snowboard Big Air. When not competing, Anderson is active in several non-profits that promote mindful purchasing, and charities that work to assist people globally. She also works with Protect Our Winters (POW) in the fight against climate change.
Also speaking at Commencement will be LTCC’s new Superintendent/President Jeff DeFranco. He’ll discuss his personal version of “Follow Your Dreams,” talking about his aspiration as an undergraduate student leader to become a college administrator one day, and how, a dozen years later, he achieved that. President DeFranco will also present the LTCC Foundation’s Distinguished Alumni Award to longtime local dentist Dr. Deanna Brothers. “She’s been a champion for our students for a long time, and she embraces lifelong learning, continuing to take classes at LTCC to support her own educational journey,” said DeFranco. “What you see at Commencement reflects the hard work our students put in, sometimes over many years. I hope they realize that this is just one step in their personal growth, and that they will continue to be curious and to seek learning throughout their lives.”
A number of LTCC’s graduating students are also participating in the ceremony. Students Jenifer Ruiz and Yari Torres will perform the Star Spangled Banner, and students William Twumasi and Victor Reynosa will also share their thoughts about developing passions and pursuing dreams. Faculty comments will come from Music Department instructor and Academic Senate President Dr. Mark Williams. Also contributing speeches will be Board of Trustees President Dr. Karen Borges, and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Michelle Risdon.
For those who cannot attend, a live stream of the Commencement ceremony can be accessed right from the college’s website homepage on Friday starting at approximately 6pm.