COM to Hold 97th Annual Commencement and Transfer Recognition Ceremony

May 20th, 2024 - 10:29am

KENTFIELD / NOVATO, CA—College of Marin’s (COM) 97th Commencement Exercises will take place on Friday, May 24, at 6 p.m. at Pieper Field, 700 College Avenue, Kentfield. Of the approximately 413 students receiving degrees and certificates this year, over 200 will participate in the formal ceremony. This year’s youngest graduate is 19 and the oldest graduate is 75 years old. The College will be awarding 269 associate of arts degrees, 158 associate of science degrees, and 77 certificates. Some students have earned more than one degree or certificate.

“We are incredibly proud of each of our 400-plus graduating students—and those additional students who came to us on the way to transferring to a four-year institution,” said Superintendent/President Jonathan Eldridge, Ed.D. “We look forward to celebrating with them and their families at Commencement and welcoming them into the ranks of our distinguished alumni.”

The Commencement ceremony will open with an address from Academic Senate President Maria Coulson, singing of the National Anthem by transfer students Timothy Cranna and Ash Jones, and welcoming the graduating class by Dr. Eldridge. Interim Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Learning and Success Mia Robertshaw, J.D. will introduce the student speakers, Janet Hernandez and David McGrane. Following remarks from the speakers, Dr. Eldridge will confer the degrees and certificates, and the ceremony will be closed by Maria Coulson. The Class of 2024 will exit the field to Mariners’ March, composed by COM Music Professor James Stopher, D.M.A., performed by the COM Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and directed by Trevor Björklund, Ph.D.

About the Student Speakers

Person in blue shirt smiling in front of a green backgroundJanet Hernandez
Born in Los Angeles, Janet Hernandez is a first-generation Latinx student. She was raised by a single mother who immigrated to the US 27 years ago in search of the American dream. Janet spent her early years in Guatemala under the care of her grandmother and aunts. She returned to the US at age 7, and moved between Los Angeles and Marin County. Despite challenges, she completed her education at Davidson Middle School in 2012 and San Rafael High School in 2016.

After high school, Janet prioritized motherhood but always remembered the value her mother placed on educational aspirations. Prompted by a question from her own daughter, Janet rediscovered her determination and enrolled at College of Marin in 2021. Her journey included involvement in learning communities such as Puente, EOPS, and Umoja; as a tutor for Early Childhood Education, and as a member of the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society, API, and the Environmental Action Club.

Janet’s aim is transferring to a four-year institution, earning her BA in education, and ultimately teaching at the elementary level. Through education, Janet seeks to empower future generations, continuing the legacy of resilience and determination instilled in her by her mother.

Person in black zip-up shirt in front of a grey backgroundDavid McGrane
Originally from Sydney, Australia, David McGrane jumpstarted his career in the mailroom of a top international advertising and design agency straight out of high school. Through hard work and dedication, he climbed the ranks, immersing himself in creative epicenters such as Sydney, London, New York, and Moscow. He eventually moved to San Francisco, where he co-founded and managed Ozone, a boutique design, marketing, and strategy agency specializing in goods, products, and services that positively impact people's lives.

David fostered a love for philosophy and aspires to impart it through teaching. Supported wholeheartedly by his wife, Yasmine, and their teenagers, Finnegan and Delphine, he enrolled at College of Marin in 2022 and started working toward his dream job teaching philosophy. This spring, David graduates with an AA in philosophy and is transferring to the University of California, Berkeley, this fall to earn a bachelor's degree.

Trying to keep up with his teenagers keeps him fit; and regular cycling, swimming, and paddle-boarding help, too. His creativity stays sharp through quality time with his wife, and as a testament to his adventurous spirit, he's crossed the Golden Gate twice—sans wetsuit—braving the chilly waters.

Friday, May 24, 2024
6 PM — 8 PM / PDT

College of Marin Pieper Field (in person)
700 College Ave
Kentfield, CA 94904

Kentfield Campus Map | Pieper Field Map