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SVC Whidbey hands out degrees
Skagit Valley College Whidbey Island Campus held its annual commencement on Saturday, June 16 in Oak Harbor with 122 students walking in the ceremony. This year, Skagit Valley College plans to confer a record-setting 1,277 degrees, certificates, and diplomas, with the following at the Whidbey Island Campus and the South Whidbey Center: 111 academic transfer degrees; 137 professional/technical degrees and certificates; 6 high school diplomas; among the graduates, 16 Running Start students received their high school diplomas and associate’s degrees.
This year, the age of the graduating class ranged from 17 to 66.
Each year, Whidbey Island Campus students recognize faculty and staff members who demonstrate superior performance inside and outside the classroom. The Exceptional Full-time Faculty award was presented to Mike Swietzer (Anacortes), Marine Technology Department chair.
The Exceptional Part-time Faculty award was presented to Kristen Hoffbuhr (Anacortes), an instructor in the Science Department.
The Exceptional Full-time Staff award was presented to Ann Avary (Port Townsend), director of the Center of Excellence – Marine Manufacturing and Technology.
The Exceptional Part-time Staff award was presented to Cliff Barnes (Anacortes), who is with the SVC Security Department and is a Skagit Valley College alum.
In addition, the students recognized Laura Martinez for her dual roles this year with the Program Board and Associated Students of Skagit Valley College.
Serving as this year’s commencement speaker was SVC alum Mark Litton of Sedro-Woolley who shared his inspiring story of entering college as an older student and realizing his dream of becoming a doctor.
During his studies at SVC, Litton was awarded the President’s Medal for academic achievement as well as the Sydney S. McIntyre, Jr. Skagit Valley College Memorial Scholarship. After graduating from SVC in 2005, he attended Western Washington University where he earned a double major in Biology and Anthropology.
Currently, Mark Litton is completing his Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences core rotations at Skagit Valley Hospital. He will then apply to a residency program and plans to finish his medical training in three to seven years.