Students became alumni Friday afternoon after walking across the stage in Cuesta College’s 53rd commencement ceremony.
In 946 students, there were 1,249 degrees awarded total to the Class of 2018. More than 150 of those graduates were able to go to Cuesta College for free during their first year due to the Cuesta College Promise Scholarship.
"This is our largest group of graduating Promise Scholarship recipients yet," said Dr. Gil Stork, Cuesta College superintendent and president. "We are so proud to ease the financial burden of college for our local high school graduates and their families, and thrilled that so many students have seized the opportunity to pursue their college education at Cuesta College with the Promise Scholarship."
The graduates range in age from 17 to 69, and included 29 veterans from branches of the Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard. Out of 946 graduates, 373 were men and 567 were women.
"I did wait 15 years to go back to school, so that was a challenge in itself trying to get back into that mode of studying – it was really hard," said Vianey Alvarado, a graduate. "But yeah I had great support here at Cuesta."
The same day as Cuesta’s commencement ceremony, 40 students received their nursing pins ahead of becoming registered nurses.