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PCC’s 52nd commencement set for June 13

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Portland Community College’s 52nd Commencement Ceremony will feature inspiration and encouragement from first-year College President Jeremy Brown, who will deliver the commencement address, and 2014 graduate Yesenia Herrera, who is the student speaker.

This year, about 5,200 degrees, certificates and awards will be handed out and nearly 900 students are planning to walk in front of thousands of friends, family and community members. Graduation proceedings are set for 7 p.m., Friday, June 13, in the Memorial Coliseum, 1401 N. Wheeler. For more information on the ceremony, visit the commencement website or e-mail

In addition to Brown and Herrera, Extended Learning Campus/Southeast Center President Jessica Howard will serve as master of ceremonies and be joined on stage by Board Chair Denise Frisbee and national anthem singer Kendaya Thompson, a 2014 graduate. The college’s Parking and Transportation Services will be providing free roundtrip shuttle service between the Cascade Campus (705 N. Killingsworth St.) and the coliseum. Parking is free at Cascade. Shuttles will commence running at 4 p.m., departing every 15 minutes. The last shuttle will leave the coliseum 45 minutes after graduation. For graduation shuttle information, contact Michael Kuehn at

Commencement Address: PCC President Jeremy Brown
Jeremy Brown.

Jeremy Brown.

Jeremy Brown took the reins of Portland Community College last summer, becoming its sixth president. Since starting, Brown has held listening tours throughout the college’s large district with staff, faculty, students and the community to gain perspective on needs and goals of PCC and the external community. In addition, he has led a charge to devise a new strategic plan for PCC that has involved countless hours of planning and community input.

An academic by training, Brown earned both his bachelor of science degree and his doctorate in physics from the University of Birmingham, England. His doctoral work in experimental nuclear physics was conducted at the University of Birmingham and the University of California-Berkeley. He spent two years at Indiana University pursuing physics research, followed by a faculty position in the physics department at Princeton University.

Student Speaker Yesenia Herrera

gradspeakerHerrera, 20, was recently awarded the Community College Presidents’ Award at Washington State University-Vancouver. At PCC’s Cascade Campus (705 N. Killingsworth St.), she served as the campus’ director of student programs and then as its diversity retention coordinator for Latino students where she mentored and tutored fellow students. Heavily involved with student government, she helped organize clubs, program activities and direct social outings such as Cascade’s Dollar BBQ and the college’s End of Year Party. And she’s contributed to lobbying efforts on behalf of the college in Washington D.C., and lobbied for the restoration of funding for the federal Trio program, which serves low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities.

Next fall, Herrera’s journey continues at WSU-Vancouver where she will major in psychology and minor in neuroscience, and hopes to eventually earn doctorates in those same fields. She wants to eventually work as a bilingual therapist for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Read more.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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x by Feature: Herrera finds own path to student speaker role | PCC News 3 years ago

[…] This comes on the heels of being named the student speaker for the 2014 PCC commencement ceremony on Friday, June 13, in the Memorial Coliseum, 1401 N. […]

x by The Bridge : Graduation Student Speaker Announced 3 years ago

[…] attend in the fall. This comes on the heels of being named the student speaker for the 2014 PCC commencement ceremony on Friday, June 13, in the Memorial Coliseum, 1401 N. Wheeler. The Presidents’ Award includes […]


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