Whittier Celebrates Latino Graduates

May 14, 2018

graduates with familyWhittier College celebrated the 17th Annual Latino Graduates Celebration in the Harris Amphitheatre. During the ceremony, participants donned the traditional cap and gown and were formally recognized by President Sharon D. Herzberger.

Greg Prieto ’05, professor of sociology at the University of San Diego, served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker. “Write what has not been written, raise a voice that we have never heard, and struggle mightily to lift your best life for yourself and for those yet to come,” said Prieto addressing the graduates. “We need you now, perhaps more than ever before.”

After Prieto’s speech, four seniors shared their own stories and spoke about their time at Whittier. Brandy Barajas ’18, Gaby Gil de León ’18, Cristian Perez ’18, and Angelica Santiago’18 each acknowledged their families’ support, sacrifices, and triumphs. 

“Like America, this degree is an opportunity to make a difference,” said Perez.  “It’s an opportunity to make an impact on the horizon of progress. It’s our time to dream and to leap. And it’s time to hold near those who helped us get here.” 

The event, which serves as a kick-off for Whittier’s Commencement Week activities, included performances by Mariachi Alma de California and the Colombian duo Edgar and Lucy. The occasion highlights the achievements and personal success of graduating seniors in the spirit and traditions of Latino cultures. View photos from the event on Whittier College’s Facebook page.