Graduation balloonsMCC’s first in-person May commencement in two years was magical! The MCC Class of 2021-22 graduated more than 1,600 students who collectively earned 2,300+ degrees and certificates. Nearly 400 students walked the stage May 13 at the Arizona State University Desert Financial Arena in Tempe, enjoying an air-conditioned venue – a first for MCC. Graduates from the classes of 2019-20 and 2020-21 also joined the celebration since the pandemic delayed their commencements. Thunderbird pride rocked the arena.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate our students with an in-person commencement acknowledging their successes,” said Marcy Snitzer, MCC Graduation Trichair and Associate Vice President of Communications, Marketing and Philanthropy. “Carmencements, drive-thru celebrations, were great to recognize students during the pandemic but nothing parallels the joy and excitement of walking across the stage with your friends and family cheering from the stands.”

Graduation crowd“I am excited and honored to congratulate all of our graduates who have worked hard for this achievement,” Interim President Lori M. Berquam said. “I also want to congratulate the spouses, partners, children, families, extended families, friends and faculty who celebrate this accomplishment with you. The college is proud of your accomplishments and extends best wishes as you embark on the next chapter of your life.”

Vicente Ortiz, president of the Associated Students of Mesa Community College (student government), who plans to attend the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University to continue his studies, welcomed graduate candidates and guests.

This year’s class honors speaker Gabriela Mansilla, who moved from Guatemala to the United States at age 25 seeking a college degree, said she was pleased to discover MCC fit her needs in many ways, with a staff deeply committed to helping students. While on campus, Mansilla was a member of Psi Beta (Psychology Honor Society), ASMCC (student government), Phi Theta Kappa (International Honor Society), the Student Success Foundation and worked part time in the MCC New Student Welcome Room.

“Believing that I could one day get here regardless of barriers is what kept me going,” Mansilla said. “As a woman in STEM, I know that I will need that discipline, work ethic and resilience in order to succeed in my field.”

2021-22 ACADEMIC STATISTICS:Graduating Student

1,644 individuals earning a degree or industry certificate, for the summer, fall and spring semesters

2,920 degrees and certificates earned

Top three Career and Technical Education Degrees:

Associate in Applied Science in Nursing

Associate in Applied Science in Construction Management

Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene

Although every graduate has a tale to tell of the path that leads to meeting their goal, a few stories are compiled demonstrating Thunderbird resiliency. Be inspired. Review this year’s stories online at stories.