ABOVE PHOTO: Graduates pose during last week’s first full, in-person graduation ceremony since 2019. (Photo/CCP)
Community College of Philadelphia today hosted its 56th commencement ceremony at The Liacouras Center on May 7 – the College’s first in-person commencement ceremony since 2019. The keynote speaker was Philadelphia City Councilmember and Majority Leader Cherelle L. Parker (D-9th Dist.)
Graduates also heard from College President Dr. Donald “Guy” Generals, College Board of Trustees Chair Jeremiah White Jr., Vice President for Academic and Student Success Dr. Samuel Hirsch, outgoing Student Government Association President Ahmad Mitchell, and others.
“We are elated to finally be able to offer our graduates the in-person celebration they deserve,” Generals said. “Our students have faced and overcome many obstacles over the past few years, but they have remained committed to advancing their education. We applaud them for their perseverance and today represents only the beginning of a long and successful journey ahead.”
The Class of 2022 includes more than 1,800 graduates earning 2,006 degrees and certificates. There are 1,014 students graduating with honors by earning at least a 3.2 GPA.
Among this spring’s graduates were students Nathaniel “Nate” Gordon, Afshan Khan and Ahmad Mitchell.
Originally from Covington, Georgia, Gordon moved to Philadelphia at 13 to receive a better-quality education. He soon found himself in the foster care system and when he turned 16, he applied to join the College’s Gateway to College program. After graduating from the Gateway program this June, Nate will be attending the University of Pennsylvania to study Economic and Urban Studies.
A native of Pakistan, Khan moved to Philadelphia to get an education and a better shot at life. After receiving her high school diploma at 16 years old, she joined the inaugural cohort of the College’s Octavius Catto Scholarship. At 18, Afshan is interested in obtaining her bachelor’s degree in nursing and one day hopes to open her own hospital. She also wants to open her own school where she can ensure that young girls in Pakistan have access to the same quality education she received at the College.
Born and raised in North Philadelphia, Mitchell was the College’s 2022 student commencement speaker. An aspiring chef, activist, and outgoing Student Government Association president, he has spent his time at the College and in the city advocating on behalf of workers’ rights. Ahmad is heading to Disney World this June to participate in the prestigious Disney Culinary Program. In January, he will pursue his bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Food Systems at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.
Also among the graduates from the Class of 2022 are 110 dual enrollment students from Parkway Center City Middle College, 13 students from MaST Community Charter School, and nine students from John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School who will be earning their associate degrees in addition to graduating from high school.