Mesa College Celebrates 44th Commencement

San Diego Mesa College will hold its 44th commencement exercises at the Jenny Craig Pavilion, University of San Diego on Sunday, May 18. The 2008 Mesa College class of 1,453 is the largest 2008 graduating class in the San Diego Community College District, which also includes City College, Miramar College and Continuing Education.

With this commencement, Mesa College has awarded a total of 43,858 certificates and degrees. The Mesa graduating class will receive diplomas from 64 academic programs offered by the two-year community college. The most popular degrees are Animal Health Technology, Business Administration, Interior Design, Psychology, Radiologic Technology and Transfer Studies, which enables graduates to transfer to the University of California or to the California State University having met lower-division general education requirements.

The Mesa College 2008 graduating class is comprised of 1,389 students who will receive academic degrees: 752 Associate in Arts degrees and 325 Associate in Science degrees.

Of this group, 448 or 42 percent are men, and 629 or 58 percent are women. Of the 312 who will receive certificates of achievement, 93 or 30 percent are men, and 219 or 70 percent are women.

Forty students will graduate with two or more degrees and 33 students with honors. The Class of 2008 includes twelve valedictorians, who achieved the rare and perfect grade point average of 4.0. Eleven of the valedictorians will graduate with degrees in Transfer Studies; one valedictorian will receive an Associate in Science in Multimedia studies.

More than 337 graduates ranging in age from 18 to 68 are expected to participate in the commencement activities. The oldest 2008 Mesa College graduate is Allen Victor Wooldridge, 68 of Linda Vista; the youngest, Hafsa Mohamed, 18, of City Heights.

Commencement will be a family affair for brothers Krit Sritong and Kan Sritong; and several sets of sisters: Michelle Leigh Taylog and Marlene Sanfliippo; and Brenda Garcia and Minerva Garcia.

Another set of sisters, Nasra Nimaga and Bahawa Nimaga, received special recognition at Mesa College Scholarship banquet last week. Originally from Kenya, both sisters are honors students and members of Phi Theta Kappa. Bahawa has served as Vice President for Mesa’s Associated Students Government and is the recipient of the 2008 President’s Scholarship.  Nasra is a tutor, class valedictorian and graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. A student of the Mesa College International Studies program, Nasra was recipient of the prestigious 2008 Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship. The scholarship is worth up to $60,000 (depending on the program and expenses) and is the largest scholarship in the country available to community college students.

Nasra Nimaga is one of 25 students to graduate from the Mesa International Student Program. Representing 14 nations from across the globe, these students choose Mesa College as their campus of choice for an education abroad in the United States. Of the 25 graduating international students, four have the distinction of being named valedictorians with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Commencement speaker is Dr. Gerardo E. de los Santos, President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College, an international organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. De los Santo is a recognized scholar in the field of community college education, and a community college graduate. Student speaker Philippe Louis-Jean.

Summer session at Mesa College begins in June, with 4-, 5-, 6- and 8-week sessions beginning June 2, 17, 23 and July 7. For more information, call 619-388-2682 or log on to