COMMENCEMENT FACTS: San Diego Mesa College – the fastest-growing college in California and among the fastest-growing in the nation – will hold its 48th commencement exercises at the Jenny Craig Pavilion, University of San Diego, on Saturday, May 19, at 4:00 p.m. Mesa College’s 48th graduating class is comprised of 1,046 students who will receive 1,110 associate degrees and 321 certificates. Of this group, 622 are men, and 809 are women. Eighteen students will graduate with two or more degrees and 308 students with honors. The class of 2012 includes 21 valedictorians who achieved the rare and perfect grade point average of 4.0.
Student speaker is Andrew A. James, 28, of Normal Heights, is receiving an Associate Degree in Communications Studies with an emphasis in media. In two years on the internationally acclaimed Olympian Speech and Debate Team, Andrew was a five-time gold-medal winner in the Pacific Southwest Intercollegiate Association tournaments. The former Navy corpsman plans to continue his studies in Communications at the University of San Diego.
Olympic medalist, beloved Mesa College Track and Field Coach, and champion for youth Arnie Robinson will receive the San Diego Mesa College 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award. The award, established in 2011, recognizes students who have distinguished themselves in their field of study. A winner of the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Trials long jump, Robinson was third at the 1972 Olympic Games and took the gold medal in 1976. He won seven national long jump titles before retiring in 1979. He was named Track and Field Coach at Mesa College in 1982 and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2011. He remains a pillar in the track and field community and is most proud of the very active role he has played in the youth track and field community. (For more information on his distinguished career, please see www.sdmesa.edu/alumni.)