WNC graduates largest class in history | NevadaAppeal.com

WNC graduates largest class in history

Teri Vance
Amairani Gonzalez is handed her diploma from Western Nevada College interim president Chester Burton on Monday.
Jim Grant / jgrant@nevadaappeal.com | Nevada Appeal

Alejandra Leon said she woke up Monday morning with half an afro and one eye open.

“Time to put on another itchy gown and cap that doesn’t fit my head,” the president of the Associated Students of Western Nevada College told her fellow graduates during the commencement ceremony at the Pony Express Pavilion. “It might have been a struggle for some of you to get here, but we can all take a breath. You reached your goal. We are now more valuable to the world. We hold the education to change the world.”

In two ceremonies, Monday in Carson City and today in Fallon, the college will hand out 581 degrees and certificates of completion to 543 graduates, said interim president Chester Burton.

“Each year, our numbers continue to grow,” Burton said. “I’m very, very proud to report, you are the largest graduating class ever from Western Nevada College. This event is the highlight of every academic year as we celebrate the accomplishments of our graduating class.”

After spending his career in construction, Don Boebel went back to school to earn his bachelor’s degree in construction management. He completed his courses in December, then got hired at the college. He walked across the stage Monday as both a college graduate and a college instructor

“I wanted to be able to give back after 35-plus (years) in the trade as not only a craftsman, but a general contractor,” he said. “I really enjoy it.”

Tom Kubistant, psychology and communications instructor, delivered the commencement address, telling the graduates that their success “gives me so much joy.”

“Talk about persistence,” he said, “beyond your achievements you have lived your commitments.”

Noelle Greenlee came to cheer on her husband, Ian, this year’s Nevada System of Higher Education Regents Scholar, as he received his nursing degree.

“It’s really exciting,” she said. “It’s been four years in the process.”

She said he got a job at Renown Regional Medical Center — and just in time as the couple just had its first baby, Ryker.

“It means he’s good to earn money now,” she said.