This is a special week for students at Yakima Valley College. The College will host its 89th Commencement Ceremony on June 15 at 7:00pm in the Yakima Valley SunDome. The graduating class of 2018 includes 1,086 students ranging in age 17 to 65. Seventeen of the students are veterans and 168 are Running Start students, simultaneously earning their high school diploma and an associate degree. The college will award a total of 1,239 degrees and certificates including bachelor of applied science, transfer degrees, professional/technical degrees, and certificates.

This year’s keynote address will be presented by Ms. Jan Yoshiwara. Yoshiwara is executive director of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), an agency that administers Washington’s system of 34 public community and technical colleges. The SBCTC sets policy, allocates state operating and capital funds to the colleges, strategically plans the two-year college mission, and approves educational programs.

The student commencement speech will be delivered by YVC graduate Erica Lua-Alonzo. Lua-Alonzo, born and raised in the Yakima Valley, has completed her associate of applied science degree in bilingual administrative office assistant. She enrolled at Yakima Valley College pursing a degree from the business technology program in the spring of 2016. Following YVC she plans to continue her career as a Special Programs Administrative Assistant and District Translator with the East Valley School District.