Seattle Central students celebrate at new all-district commencement

The college’s 50th graduating class looks to the future after earning their degrees last Friday.

Nearly 1,000 graduates and their family and friends filled Safeco Field for the first-ever combined commencement ceremony for the Seattle Colleges District this past Friday. Dressed in blue caps and gowns, students from Seattle Central walked alongside their counterparts from North Seattle and South Seattle colleges, and Seattle Vocational Institute, to collectively celebrate their achievements.

The ceremony was enlarged and moved to Safeco Field this year to accommodate additional guests, create a more compelling program and offer better accessibility. According to Seattle Colleges Chancellor Shouan Pan, Ph.D., the decision was also made to best show the collective impact of the Seattle Colleges on the students and the community.

Seattle Central’s student speaker was Mildred Tupe, who graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Healthcare Services Management, one of the program’s first graduating class. She immigrated to the United States with two children, and found a path to a better life at Seattle Central. “I remember 10 years ago I could barely speak and write English,” Tupe said. “To everyone who empowered me to achieve, I will forever remember what you did and how you cared.” Tupe is considering attending graduate school.

Nearly 1,300 Seattle Central students officially graduated this year. Over 700 students earned associate degrees to transfer to four-year colleges and universities; nearly 400 students earned professional/technical degrees or certificates to begin a career in the workforce; and another 100 students earned their high school diploma. Over 60 students earned a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in one of the three programs, including Allied Health, Applied Behavioral Science and Information Technology-Networking.

Several Seattle Central students were recognized at the ceremony for their achievements, including All-Washington Academic Team award recipients Nickey Mitchell and Spencer Neumiller, Transforming Lives Award nominee Mark Bennett and League of Innovation Literary Contest first place winners.