A NIGHT TO REMEMBER:
|Commencement speaker Vail Horton addresses the Clark College Class of 2009|
Clark College reached a milestone during its 75th anniversary year as it honored
the Class of 2009 at commencement ceremonies held at the Amphitheatre at Clark County
on June 18.
The guest speaker Vail Horton was a business leader, philanthropist and advocate for persons with disabilities. Born without legs and with improper bone growth in his arms, Horton rode a skateboard to the center of the stage and inspired the graduates as he shared his life story and reminded them that “they can be anything they want to be.”
The ceremony also featured a video greeting from Gov. Chris Gregoire in honor of the college’s 75th anniversary. During the ceremony, three faculty members were honored as recipients of the 2008-2009 Exceptional Faculty awards.
Planning and Effectiveness Administrative Assistant Cindy Heck and Clark College Assessment Center program manager Mirranda Saari were honored as recipients of the college’s Exceptional Classified Staff award.
Dora Hernandez, who graduated with an Associate of Arts degree and is interested in pursuing studies in Human Development, received the President’s Scholarship Award for a transfer student from Clark College to Washington State University Vancouver.
Hernandez, seen on the left receiving congratulations from her classmates, will receive
full tuition and fees while they earn their bachelor’s degree at WSU Vancouver.
The evening included a special diploma presentation to World War II veteran Wilbert Kalmbach, who first took classes at Clark College in 1947.
Kalmbach noted that he had not been able to take part in his high school graduation ceremony, U.S. Army graduation ceremony, or Clark’s 1969 commencement ceremony. That year, he believed he had finally earned enough credits to graduate from Clark College.
Sixty-two years after taking his first classes at Clark, he marched in commencement
as a graduate and received a diploma from Clark College President Robert K. Knight.
He also received two standing ovations.
More than 350 students took part in the graduation ceremony. During the 2008-2009 academic year, 1,276 men and women have earned degrees and certificates from Clark College.