Over 450 graduate from GHC; college offering assistance for next students

Grays Harbor College celebrated the Class of 2024 at the 93rd Commencement Ceremony on Friday.

According to the college, 459 students graduated from the ceremony, with GHC awarding 12 Bachelor of Applied Science degrees, 18 GEDs, 163 high school diplomas, and 266 Associate in Arts degrees.

GHC President Dr. Carli Schiffner spoke to the graduates. “Look around at your fellow graduates. We have carpenters, welders, nurses, medical assistants, business leaders, apprentices, teachers, forest managers, and more among you,” she said. “You are the future of this region. Thank you for leaning in and striving to make a difference in your life, the lives of your family, and this community.”

Before awarding diplomas to the Class of 2024, two awards were announced.

Debi Brogan, Nursing faculty member, received the Faculty of the Year award. The Faculty of the Year award is an annual tradition voted on by the students and dating back to 1974. 

Students who nominated Brogan for the award said, “Debi is very clear on her expectations, knowledgeable, caring, compassionate, and full of love for her students in many ways,” and “it is said that a great teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart. She has done just that, leaving an indelible mark on our community.”

Makayla Wilson received the Outstanding Student Award for 2024. Wilson graduated fourth in her class from Elma High School and from GHC with a 3.83 GPA. She was captain of the EHS Drill and Cheer teams, and worked part time at Smitty’s and a local credit union, all while raising child.

In addition to the two awards, GHC recognized graduates in other ways.

The 19 students who graduated with a perfect 4.0 Grade Point Average received a special pin in recognition of their accomplishments, and the President’s Scholars, graduates who achieved a cumulative 3.5-3.99 GPA, also received pins.

Graduates who participated in GHC’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Running Start graduates, student athletes, TRIO participants, and graduates with military experience were recognized with honor cords.

Native graduates were honored with tribal blankets representing their family and tribe, celebrating the graduates’ achievements while acknowledging the collective efforts and ancestral heritage that contributed to their success. Graduates also had the opportunity to wear affinity stoles to designate cultural and/or ethnic identity.

While Friday’s Commencement Ceremony marks the culmination of weeks of celebrations at GHC, from the Nursing Pinning to a TRIO party and more, GHC has not finished honoring its graduates. 

On July 10, the College will hold a graduation ceremony at Stafford Creek Corrections Center.  

As the graduates begin their next steps in life, the college is inviting current and new students get started at GHC with Easy Enrollment Days on June 25 and 26.  

Services at these events will include help with the application to GHC, placement testing, assistance setting up student portals, answering financial aid and funding questions, and entry advising. After initial advising, individuals will be able to schedule a longer meeting if needed to provide a more in-depth advising experience. 

Easy Enrollment Days will be held on the second floor of GHC’s new tulalW (3000) Building in room 3244 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on both days. There will be additional enrollment events for fall quarter scheduled for later in the summer.

To help prepare for fall quarter and the 2024-25 academic year, GHC has opened additional summer sections of Survey of Biology (BIOL& 100) and General Psychology (PSYC& 100), courses that many students need to take to complete their degrees. 

For more information about these events or attending GHC, individuals are encouraged to contact Johnny Alavéz, Director of Admissions and Recruitment, at 360-532-9020 or by email at [email protected].