President Thayer’s Board Report for May 28, 2024

The following is a report to members of the North Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees
Presented by Cypress College President Scott W. Thayer, Ed.D.
on May 28, 2024

Commencement at Cypress College!

Cypress College hosted its 47th Commencement on Friday, May 24. An estimated 700+ students participated as part of the Class of 2024. Held in Gateway Plaza, this momentous occasion celebrated the hard work and achievements of our diverse student body. This year we have 1,446 students graduating from at least one of our 87 degree programs. Combined, these students are earning 1,713 associate degrees — meaning some earned multiple degrees. In addition, 1,736 students have earned certificates from one of our 127 certificate programs.

$500,000 Presented at Foundation Scholarship Awards

The Foundation presented a half-million dollars in scholarships to Cypress College students at the annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony, held on Friday, May 17. Hundreds of students and their guests attended the ceremony in our event tent. The event highlights the investment in the Foundation and the rewards for our students of a comprehensive program. Throughout the academic year, the Cypress College Foundation contributed more than $1 million to the campus community, including scholarships, emergency aid, and programmatic support.

Forensics Success

The Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team had a successful 2023-2024 academic year. Two students earned national championships. Team captain Brandon Griffin earned a national championship and a national recognition award. Jacob Blair was a national champion in three events. In addition, Sara Crespo was the recipient of the Forensics Scholarship. The team is coached by directors Jennifer Page and Josh House, along with Justin Perkins, Zachary White, and Kelly Hutchinson.

Office of STEM Programs Recognition Ceremony Invitation

You’re invited to the Office of STEM Programs Recognition Ceremony on Friday, May 31, from 6-8:30 p.m. Join us for an inspiring evening as we celebrate our STEM Scholars who have earned admission to four-year universities. Come and share in the joy with our students and their families as we honor their hard work and achievements.

Building a College-Going Culture

During the past week, I had the opportunity to participate in college-going events at both the high school and elementary school level. I attended Westminster High School’s Sylvia Mendez Pavilion last Monday to work with students as part of their exit interviews. This was an exciting opportunity for the school’s seniors to engage in professional interviews and showcase their achievements and growth through digital portfolios.

On May 16, I attended San Marino’s College and Career Day where the school’s scholars heard about the college and career experiences of participants.

Softball Returns to Finals

Our softball teams had an eventful season defending their 2023 California state championship. Making their 31st appearance in the state tournament, this relentless group of student athletes battled back time and time again, to earn a trip to the championship games. In the first of the two games, Cypress defeated Fullerton, 4-1 — in what we believe is the first cross-district championship event in the state. Fullerton made good in their second chance, winner-take-all game 2. The Chargers finished the season 42-9.

Lavender Graduation

Cypress College was delighted to host our 3rd annual Lavender Graduation, which took place on the evening of Monday, May 13. Following the ceremony, attendees were invited to participate in the first-ever Queer Prom. Current and former graduates invited their “chosen family” as well as a Cypress employee who supported them on their educational journey.

The Cypress College Campus Podcast

As mentioned in our State of the College report at the last Board meeting, we have launched The Cypress College Campus Podcast — a monthly interview with people connected to Cypress College. The inaugural episode features student Arjun Ayyappan, our Associated Students president. He recently earned admission to Stanford after becoming the first-ever community college student selected for the prestigious summer law institute. You can listen to this podcast, and future episodes, on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify,

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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