PCC celebrates Class of 2024 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on June 14

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Scene from 2023 graduation.

Tons of fun were enjoyed at the 2023 PCC commencement.

Portland Community College’s Class of 2024 is ready to celebrate a milestone in their education pathway this spring. PCC’s commencement ceremony takes place at 7 p.m., Friday, June 14 inside Veterans Memorial Coliseum (300 N. Ramsay Way) where thousands of newly minted graduates will walk the stage and celebrate their degrees and certificates in front of family and friends.

The ceremony will include a welcome from President Dr. Adrien L. Bennings, remarks by keynote speaker Executive Vice President Dr. Katy Ho and student Vladislav Kirilov, as well as music by the PCC Rock Creek Chamber Choir. Public parking at the coliseum is $10, or park free at the Cascade Campus (705 N. Killingsworth St.), and use the free shuttles, which begin at 4 p.m. and run approximately every 20 minutes.

“On behalf of our entire Portland Community College community, I congratulate you on this monumental achievement,” said Dr. Bennings of the graduates. “May your futures be bright, your dreams vast, and your contributions significant.”

Student Speaker: Vladislav Kirilov 
Vladislav Kirilov

Vladislav Kirilov.

The international student is originally from the small town of Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan. Raised by a single mother, he navigated the world with impaired vision where he was exposed to compassionate ophthalmologists and technicians who inspired him to enter PCC’s Ophthalmic Medical Technology Program.

Five years ago, Kirilov immigrated to Upstate New York to play collegiate basketball when the pandemic hit, forcing him to move across the country as his school shut down. Without speaking much English, he began his PCC studies by attending online classes, completing his ESOL requirements and prerequisites. He balanced the demand of rigorous academics of the OMT Program with basketball, being a student advisor and completing a clinical rotation at the VA hospital.

“These individuals were my heroes, guiding me toward a clearer future,” he said of the ophthalmologists who helped him as a child. “Now, I am inspired to follow in their footsteps, aspiring to become a hero for others facing visual challenges. I hope to empower individuals with the same care and support that once transformed my life.”

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Katy Ho
Katy Ho

Katy Ho.

The long-time PCC administrator has held various leadership roles in student and academic affairs, showcasing her commitment to fostering educational excellence. Dr. Ho has served as the vice chancellor of Academic Affairs at Honolulu Community College and most recently as vice president for Academic Affairs before becoming the college’s executive vice president this spring. Her contributions extend beyond PCC, as she serves on the Portland State University Board of Trustees and the Partners in Diversity Leadership Council.

Dr. Ho’s educational background includes a doctorate in Community College Leadership and a master’s degree in Student Services Administration from Oregon State University. She also holds a degree from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, emphasizing Public Relations.

For more event details, visit pcc.edu/commencement/

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About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Director of Public Relations at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic... more »