Clark College Celebrates Class of 2023

For Immediate Release 
June 16, 2023 

For additional information (media inquiries & photo requests): 
Maureen Chan-Hefflin, Clark College Communications & Marketing 
T: 360-992-2243 E: 

Over 1600 graduates, 1833 degrees and certificates conferred

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Clark College honored its 87th graduating class at the 2023 Clark College Commencement ceremony on Thursday evening, June 15, at the RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater. Over 520 graduates and their guests gathered with college faculty and staff to celebrate their achievements. This auspicious ceremony honored students graduating with their bachelor’s or associate degrees, and those earning certificates, high school diplomas, and/or GED completion.

Highlights include:

A total of 1,833 degrees and certificates were conferred on the next generation of our community's workers, leaders, and scholars. This translates to a total of 1,601 graduates of which there are:

Speakers at the commencement included:

2023 Exceptional Faculty Award Recipients are:

All Washington Academic Team

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), Honors Society for two-year colleges, selected the following graduates for its All-Washington Academic Team, based on their academic excellence and community service:

Clark’s first PTK induction ceremony was in 1991. And it has been a five-star chapter for 27 out of 32 years since its inception. More at 

2022-2023 Community College Presidents’ Award in honor of Val Ogden

Graduate Sonia Talero-Pachon received the 2022-2023 Community College Presidents’ Award in honor of Val Ogden. This annual scholarship is given to a Clark College graduate who is transferring to Washington State University-Vancouver. The recipient must demonstrate leadership potential, a commitment to community service, and academic achievement.

About Talero-Pachon:

Talero-Pachon exemplifies the resiliency and tenacity of first-generation college graduates. She is a peer mentor in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, working with students in various cultural contexts, fostering connectivity, and embracing inclusivity. She believes in contributing to the community by cherishing her diversity, growing as an individual, and honoring her Colombian roots.

Higher education is important to her because it opens the door to her dreams of owning and running a successful cultural events company to help systemically non-dominant communities demonstrate their artistic talent. She intends to become the first female in her family to graduate from a four-year university. Pursuing this goal as a Latina challenges the status quo and allows her to become a mentor for other Latina women who aspire to own a business. By investing in her education, she hopes to inspire her community to pursue higher education, break the poverty cycle, and create opportunities for personal, professional, and social growth.

Thanks to the generosity of Clark College Foundation, the Presidential Scholarship Task Force also selected two other recipients to receive a $1,000 scholarship each:

The following faculty and staff awards were also recognized:

2023 Exceptional Classified Staff award recipients:

2023 Exceptional Administrative Exempt Award recipient:

2023 Lora Whitfield Social Equity Award recipients to two Professors of English:

About Clark College 

Founded in 1933, Clark College provides residents of Southwest Washington with affordable, high-quality academic and technical education. It is a public community college offering more than 100 degree and certificate programs, including bachelor’s and associate degrees; professional certificates; high school diplomas and GED preparation; and non-credit community and continuing education. Clark serves a wide range of students including high school students, displaced workers, veterans, parents, non-native English speakers, and mature learners. About three-quarters of its students are in the first generation of their families to attend college.   

Located in Vancouver’s Central Park and Clark College serves up to 8,000 students per term, Clark College is Southwest Washington’s largest public institution of higher education. The college currently offers classes at two satellite locations: one on the Washington State University Vancouver campus and one in the Columbia Tech Center in East Vancouver. Additionally, the college broke ground this week on its new auxiliary campus, Clark College at Boschma Farms, in Ridgefield, Wash.