2021 Commencement Central

Cypress College’s 54th Commencement

Held on Friday, May 21, 2021 at 5 p.m.

View the rebroadcast on Vimeo at the right. Additional viewing options are below.


Commencement Ceremony

Cypress College is excited to recognize and celebrate all that you have achieved. The Cypress College 54th Commencement Virtual Ceremony held live on Friday, May 21, 2021. Enjoy the rebroadcast below.


As you share your excitement throughout the day and evening, be sure to use the hashtag #CypressCollege2021Grad.

Programming Line-Up

All videos below include subtitles:

Looking for accessibility options?
We are pleased that the live broadcast featured real-time, on-screen ASL translations. Captions are available via the YouTube version and on the Cypress College Facebook page.



Meet the 2021 Graduates

Outstanding Graduate

All graduating students who earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 and above during their college career, are eligible to be named the Outstanding Graduate. Final selection is determined by a campus committee based on applications submitted by the students.

Nicolette Garcia is the 2021 Outstanding Graduate, and she poses on the Cypress College lawn in front of the campanile.

2021’s Outstanding Graduate Nicolette Garcia studies anthropology to learn about the diverse cultures around her. This discipline has led to her graduating with high honors and three associate degrees this May.

Nicolette has been heavily involved in campus organizations. She belonged to student government, eventually becoming the Associated Students president. She also served as president of the Anthropology Club, which had languished until she helmed the group. Finally, she created the American Sign Language Club. Nicolette was diagnosed with bilateral cookie bite hearing loss in kindergarten, and it had affected her life to some extent throughout her education. She established the club to support students with hearing loss and educate others. 

This fall, Nicolette will begin at Pepperdine University, where she will continue her studies by majoring in International Studies with a specialization in Global Politics, keeping the eventual career goal of international diplomacy work in her sights. She hopes to intern at the White House and Smithsonian someday and, with the motivation that has earned her so many leadership roles so far, her goals seem close at hand.

Presidential Scholars of Distinction

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

Student Jacklyn Williamson poses in front of campus as a Presidential Scholar of Distinction.
2021 Business/CIS: Jacklyn Williamson
Culinary Arts student Alexandra Camacho poses in front of trees.
2021 Career Technical Education: Alexandra Camacho
Film student Paul Scott poses with a Cypress College pennant in graduation regalia.
2021 Fine Arts: Paul Scott
Abigail Villegas stands in front of Cypress College wearing graduation regalia.
2021 Health Science: Abigail Villegas
Kinesiology Presidential Scholar of Distinction Jonathan Gad poses in front of Cypress College pond.
2021 Kinesiology: Jonathan Gad
Hiroki Funahashi, Flight Attendant and Communications Studies student, poses in front of library.
2021 Language Arts: Hiroki Funahashi
Lia Thompson poses with a Cypress College pennant wearing graduation regalia.
2021 Science, Engineering, Math: Lia Thompson
Student Wilfredo Carrasco wears graduation regalia and poses in front of Cypress College with tables in background.
2021 Social Sciences: Wilfredo Carrasco
Student Ayah Said holds a Cypress College pennant in front of the Campanile.
2021 We Journey Together: Ayah Said

Alumna of the Year

Nancy Matsui is Cypress College’s 2021 Alumna of the Year, and the first Asian woman to receive this award. Nancy’s career in aviation and travel began in 1972 after graduating from Cypress College with an associate degree.Her airline industry career included many managerial positions with three major airlines; however, her most cherished role was national account sales manager for American Airlines. Nancy’s sales territory included top national travel agencies and she secured over $45 million in annual revenue for American Airlines. For Nancy, the most fulfilling part of the job was the opportunity to participate in community and national organizations that promote diversity and awareness in Asian communities. Some of this involvement includes board of director or advisory board positions at the Japanese American National Museum, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, Little Tokyo Service Center, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and U.S.-Japan Council (based in Washington, D.C.). Nancy recently retired from American Airlines just after celebrating her 40th service anniversary.Nancy has paid her successful career forward through her commitment to Cypress College and its Aviation and Travel Careers (ATC) Program. She has taught Travel Sales and Tourism Marketing as an adjunct professor at Cypress College for the past ten years, as well as serves on the ATC Executive Advisory Board.

Nancy shared, “Thank goodness I made the decision to get my associate degree at Cypress College hoping to increase my odds of securing my ‘dream job’ to become a flight attendant. It worked! It was clear to me that I was offered a flight attendant position because of Cypress College’s Flight Attendant Program reputation. Word of mouth spread quickly in Southern California, and recruiters from all the major airlines were hiring Cypress College graduates.” Her advice to students, “Keep dreaming…Dream jobs are out there!”

Faculty Awards

Pictured between Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling on the far left and Academic Senate President Craig Goralski on the far right are this year’s Outstanding Faculty:

Outstanding Full-Time Faculty, Thu Pham, Nursing

Outstanding Adjunct Faculty, Nzuji DeMagalhaes, Art

Charger Award, Ruth Gutierrez, English

Alma Mater

O Alma Mater, Hail with
pride and loyalty,
So sing we now with hearts
uplifted to thy glory.


O Cypress, Thee we love,
Thy spires shall rise above,
Ennobled through the years with splendor,
Cypress, hail to thee.

– Dr. Clifton Stout – (1934 – 1974)