Anne Arundel Community College is anticipating a record turnout of its graduating class at its 48th Commencement on Thursday, May 27, with more than 570 of the projected 1,672 members of the Class of 2010 picking up caps and gowns for the ceremony.
Typically, about 420 graduates participate in the annual ceremony at Siegert Field on the Arnold campus.
AACC expects to award 1,309 degrees and 464 certificates to the class of 2010, setting three new records in the number of graduates, degrees and certificates awarded. The class of 2009 saw 1,506 graduates receive 1,218 degrees and 372 certificates.
Delivering the keynote address this year is Frank Chong, Ed.D., deputy assistant secretary for community colleges in the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education. He began overseeing about 1,200 community colleges nationwide in January in his new role, leading President Barack Obama's team working to double the number of community college graduates in the next 10 years.
Chong's career in higher education has included two college presidencies. He served as president of Laney College in Oakland, Calif. from 2006-09 and as president of Mission College in Santa Clara, Calif., from 2003-06.
College officials urge graduates’ families to arrive on campus early if they wish to be seated in the tent on Siegert Field; only those with guest tickets may sit in the tent. Graduates must report to Jenkins Gymnasium before 6 p.m., when instructions are given and the procession line assembles. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m., rain or shine.
When guest seats fill in the tent, overflow guests will be directed to the air-conditioned simulcast site at the Pascal Center for Performing Arts. If needed, a second overflow site for guests will open.
The ceremony is airing live on the college Web site, www.aacc.edu, and via AACC TV, which is Anne Arundel County cable TV Channel 95 for Comcast and Broadstripe customers and Channel 35 for Verizon customers. For commencement information, call 410-777-2243.