2024 Commencement Central

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Cypress College’s 57th Commencement

Friday, May 24, 2024 at 4 p.m.

Have friends or family who can’t make it to Cypress College’s 57th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 24? We’ll be livestreaming the event on Vimeo! Just click play on the embedded video below or bookmark the Cypress College 57th Commencement Vimeo livestream link.

The ceremony begins and will go live at 4 p.m.

Commencement Ceremony

Cypress College is excited to recognize and celebrate student achievement! The college’s in-person, on-campus celebration for this year’s 57th Commencement Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 24, 2024.

Note: Participation in the commencement ceremony is not required to graduate. If you plan to participate, an RSVP is requested to assist us with planning and logistics, but not required (a link to the RSVP page will be emailed to those in the class of 2024 in April and May); simply purchase your academic regalia and follow the instructions in the “Important Day-of-Commencement Information” tab.

Are you planning to walk in Cypress College’s 57th Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 24? Watch the video below for important day-of commencement information (and don’t forget to share it with friends and family who will be attending)!

 The video is chaptered and shares information about:

  • Parking and Accessibility – Learn where you and guests should park and where accessible parking and seating are located.
  • Regalia and Ceremony Etiquette – All you need to know about your regalia (cap and gown) and expected etiquette during the ceremony.
  • Attendance and Processional Organization – For the lowdown on where to go when you arrive for commencement and information about your role at the start of the ceremony.
  • Guest Information and Etiquette – Please share this important information with your guests.
  • Gifts and Photography – Learn about gift and photography opportunities offered.

Regalia & Free Pathway Sashes

Regalia (cap and gown) orders are no longer available. Have a question or need assistance? Please reach out to Student Life and Leadership by emailing studentlife@cypresscollege.edu, calling (714) 484-7198, or stopping by the Student Life and Leadership Center (Bldg. 8) during regular business hours (Monday-Thursday at 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.).

Free Pathway Sash Distribution

Free pathway sashes for graduates to keep and wear at commencement will be available for distribution May 6-16 at Student Life and Leadership during normal center hours, Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Important Day-Of-Commencement Information

On Friday, May 24, graduates must meet behind the Student Center in the pond area next to the Veterans Resource Center by 3 p.m. Please arrive dressed in your cap and gown, and do not be late.

Graduates will be grouped by academic pathway (i.e. Business/CIS; Career Technical Education; Fine Arts; Health Science; Kinesiology; Language Arts; Science, Engineering, Mathematics; Social Sciences; and Counseling, liberal arts, and other majors in We Journey Together). There will be a short briefing before you proceed to the ceremony area. You will also be handed a reader card, which you will need to fill out so the graduate reader can announce your name as you walk across the stage. The processional will begin and recessional will end at the pond.


Please adhere to the following etiquette during the commencement ceremony:

  • Graduates MAY NOT bring any bags, purses, or other items that may hinder them during the ceremony.
  • Decorum is an expectation at commencement. Out of respect for your fellow graduates, you must remain present for the entire duration of the ceremony; do not leave the ceremony after your name has been called and you have walked across the stage. You will be promptly directed back to your seat. If you or your friends and family intend to make dinner reservations or other celebratory plans, please make sure to schedule them accordingly.
  • Excessive noisemakers, such as airhorns, cowbells, thunder sticks, whistles, etc., are prohibited at the event. All attendees are expected to be courteous to the speakers, fellow graduates, and other families/guests waiting to hear their graduates’ names called.
  • Guests with balloons must either sit in the very back of the seating area or leave the balloons in a vehicle during the ceremony so as not to obstruct the view of other guests.

Guest Information

You are welcome to invite as many guests as you would like; however, all guest seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserving of seats at the event is strictly prohibited.

Immediately following the ceremony, all graduates, as well as their friends and family, are invited to meet behind the Student Center (in the pond area next to the Veterans Resource Center) to meet and take photos with some of your favorite faculty and staff members.

On-Campus Parking and Accessibility

Parking will be free on the day of commencement. Lots 1 and 9 are recommended for all attendees; however, all lots will be open if additional parking is needed. Lot 1 is recommended for accessible parking.

A priority seating area will also be available at the ceremony for guests with physical/mobility disabilities.

Gifts and Photography

At the event, the Cypress College Bookstore will have a booth offering flowers, balloons, and collegiate gifts available for purchase. Our campus food service will also have light snacks for sale.

A professional photography service will also be on-site during the ceremony taking photos of individual graduates as they walk across the stage. These individual photo packages should be available for purchase online within two weeks following the event. Media wall photo opportunities will be available for personal photography at the event.

Outstanding Graduate

Every year, one student graduating in the current academic year who has earned a cumulative GPA of at least 3.75 and demonstrated great personal achievement in addition to their scholarly success is selected as the Outstanding Graduate of the Year.

Eligible students will be emailed an invitation to submit an application for this honor. All submissions are reviewed by the Outstanding Graduate of the Year Selection Committee with the final selection provided to the Cypress College president. The conferring of this award will be coordinated with the finalist by the Office of Campus Communications in advance of the commencement ceremony.

The 2024 Outstanding Graduate of the Year is Ashleigh Carter.

portrait of 2024 Outstanding Graduate of the Year, Ashleigh Carter, wearing her graduation regalia, including an EOPS sash, gold honor cords signifying high honors, and holding a Cypress College diploma cover

After all that she has been through, starting with a tumultuous childhood, Ashleigh Carter can now say she has found her purpose in life.

“As someone who has been impacted by the foster care system, juvenile and adult incarceration, and probation, my desire to help those still entrenched in those systems is not just a goal of mine, it is a personal mission,” she said. “… I know now that I had to experience all I did in order to become the beacon for those still left in the trenches.”

Once believing that college wasn’t for everybody – herself included – Ashleigh Carter, a single mother of two, now aspires to attend law school and become a criminal and civil rights attorney.

On her path toward achieving that goal and serving as a role model for her daughters, Ashleigh chose to attend Cypress College. She is a high achiever, having maintained a 4.0 GPA while juggling full-time work; extracurricular involvement in clubs like FITE and ASL and programs like Rising Scholars; single motherhood; caretaking for her bed-bound grandmother; and interning in the Office of California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Following her graduation from Cypress College in spring 2024, Ashleigh plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in communication studies before applying to law school to earn her juris doctor degree.

Presidential Scholars of Distinction

In 2019, Cypress College started a new tradition with the selection of the inaugural cohort of Presidential Scholars of Distinction, an academic recognition and scholarship intended to honor nine students who exemplify what it means to be a Cypress College student. The Presidential Scholars are nominated by the faculty in their specific academic major clusters, selected by the members of that academic pathway, and affirmed by President Scott W. Thayer, Ed.D.

The 2024 Presidential Scholars of Distinction have been selected and are feature below:

Alumnus of the Year

The alumnus of the year is an award administered by the Cypress College Foundation to recognize the achievements of Cypress College alumni and their contributions to their profession and community.

This year’s Alumnus of the Year is Rick Darnell, who played basketball for Cypress College in 1970-72. 

Darnell made his professional basketball debut in the American Basketball Association (ABA) during the 1976 season, prior to the ABA and NBA merger. He went on to play professional basketball in Italy.

Now, Darnell serves as a business development specialist for corporations and charitable organizations. He is an avid supporter of Cypress College and Charger Athletics, and does extensive charity work.

Outstanding Faculty Awards

Each year, the Academic Senate conducts a nomination and selection process for three faculty awards: the Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Award; the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award; and the Charger Award, presented to the faculty member who goes above the call of duty for professional duties outside the classroom. 

The 2024 faculty honorees are:

Adel Rajab, Cypress College biology professor and the 2024 Outstanding Faculty of the year honoree
Adel Rajab
Outstanding Full-Time Faculty
Nora Simoes, Cypress College English professor and the 2024 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty of the year honoree
Nora Simões
Outstanding Adjunct Faculty
Jill Bauer, Cypress College ESL professor and Accreditation Faculty Chair, and the 2024 Charger Award honoree
Jill Bauer
Charger Award