Graduate William Womack walked the stage with his service dog, Daphne.Mother and daughter Monica and Monique Wylie graduated togetherMadeline Adams was the oldest associate degree graduate at 75.

At the 50th anniversary College of the Mainland commencement ceremonies on May 13, a total 808 students graduated, marking a culmination of hours of classes, studying and dedication.

Standing out among the sea of success were mother and daughter Monica and Monique Wylie accepting awards together, Michael Thiel crossing the stage in his upright wheelchair, and William Womack walking the stage with his service dog (who also wore a graduation cap).

In addition, the COM Process Technology Program had its largest graduating class ever – 141 students earned associate degrees, including the afternoon commencement speaker Barry Elkins. Plus, a total 66 students graduated from the COM Associate Degree Nursing Program.

COM’s graduates reflect the college’s diversity – 372 are White, 247 are Hispanic and 151 are Black. COM is a currently a Hispanic-serving institution, with over 29 percent of fall 2016 students stating their ethnicity as Hispanic.

COM Collegiate High School students numbered 55 of COM’s graduates, many of whom have earned their associate degrees before their high school graduations. Brandon Solis, a Collegiate High School student from Dickinson High School, stood out as a graduate with three awards – an associate degree in general studies, an associate degree in teaching and a certificate in welding.

A total of 38 graduates, including the morning commencement speaker Leslie Ornelas, were aided each step of the way by Student Support Services. Student Support Services is a federally funded program through which COM staff provide extra advising, tutoring and mentoring for students who have disabilities, are low-income or are first-generation college students.

Plus, 56 students earned their general equivalency diploma after taking COM classes. 

COM is dedicated to ensuring student success from enrollment to graduation.

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