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Holyoke Community College Commencement Slated for June 5

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) will celebrate the classes of 2020 and 2021 on Saturday, June 5 with a virtual commencement ceremony starting at 10 a.m. This livestreamed event will be accessible at hcc.edu and the college’s social-media channels.

The ceremony will feature introductory and concluding remarks from President Christina Royal and Robert Gilbert, chair of the HCC board of trustees. Keynote speeches will be delivered by two members of the HCC faculty: Raúl Gutiérrez, associate professor of Spanish and recipient of the 2021 Elaine Marieb Faculty Chair for Teaching Excellence; and Vanessa Martinez, professor of Anthropology and recipient of the 2020 Elaine Marieb Faculty Chair for Teaching Excellence. The student address will be presented by graduating HCC student Tugce Kuruca.

The event will include musical performances by Christian Santiago, from the class of 2020, playing the cuatro (a four-string Latin American guitar); graduating music major Chan Collins, playing the cello; and the HCC College Chorale.

The virtual event will feature a virtual procession of graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021 and a collection of photos and short congratulatory videos from faculty and staff.

The Elaine Marieb Faculty Chair for Teaching Excellence was endowed by the late HCC Professor Emeritus Elaine Marieb. Each year, one full-time member of the faculty is recognized with the award for outstanding classroom teaching. Award recipients serve for one year and receive a small stipend for professional development and also give the keynote graduation speech. Because of the pandemic, HCC did not have a Commencement ceremony in 2020, so Martinez was invited to give her speech this year.

In addition to their classroom teaching responsibilities, Gutiérrez is chair of the HCC Foreign Languages program and co-founder and coordinator of HCC’s Latinx Studies program, while Martinez is coordinator of the HCC Honors Program.

Detailed information about Commencement can be found at hcc.edu/commencement. The ceremony will be closed-captioned and ASL-interpreted.

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