Graduates should arrive two hours before the ceremony to be safe.
By Wally Perez
This college and students will be celebrating graduation this year with an increased number of graduates compared to last year.
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Freeman Coliseum, 3201 E. Houston St.
Students graduating must arrive at 8 a.m. and doors open to the public at 9 a.m.
Martin Ortega, director of enrollment, said 1,053 students have picked up their caps and gowns, which breaks last year’s record of 1,009, and 185 faculty and staff have signed up to attend.
Joe Jacques, associate director of student success, said the number of this college’s graduates might still increase, as students are able to pick up their caps and gowns until Friday, but he doesn’t recommend students wait that long.
That number does not include students who choose not to walk the stage.
Jacques said they wouldn’t find out until they review the number of degrees at the end of the semester and after all final grades are posted.
Students who met graduation requirements last summer and fall are also eligible to walk the stage in the once-a-year commencement ceremony.
During College Council Tuesday, President Robert Vela said, “There are about 39 GED students who will walk the stage, which is a big GED class for us.”
There are 61 graduates from Travis Early College High School, which brings the total count to 1,153 total graduates.
The extra students means stretching graduation.
“We want to try to keep it under two hours, but it’s getting harder and harder when our numbers are increasing, which isn’t a bad thing,” Vela said.
Jacques said there would be about 10,000 spectators.
Seating is general admission, first-come, first-served, and guests should arrive no later than 9 a.m. if they want a good seat, Jacques said.
“We’re hoping to give a good ceremony that reflects the pride and effort that students displayed over their years working toward their degrees,” Jacques said.
One free parking pass is given to each graduate, but guests including family and friends must pay for parking. Parking at Freeman Coliseum is $7, according to the coliseum’s website.
Nico LaHood, district attorney of Bexar County, will be speaking during the ceremony as this college’s outstanding former student. LaHood attended this college for five years before transferring.
Vanessa Torres, director of public relations, said her department has been promoting graduation since early March.
“We’ve been working hard to get the word out about graduation and our ‘Be SAC Proud’ campaign,” Torres said. “We want students to be proud of their accomplishments here and have the ability to share this milestone with their friends and families.”
Torres said that graduation numbers have increased over the four years that she’s been here.
“I believe a large part of the success has been faculty and staff focusing on students being successful,” Torres said.
Degrees should be posted in ACES 30 days after graduation, and diplomas will be mailed 60 days after graduation.
For more information, call the admissions office at 210-486-0200.