Grad Finale Events Bring Joy to Graduates

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Valencia College students celebrated their academic success with a carload of friends and family during last week’s Grad Finale events.

Three drive-through locations were made available to the Classes of 2021 and 2020 on the East, Osceola and West Campuses over the course of three days as part of our commencement celebration.

The College provided the students with two photo opportunities: one where their photo could be taken by a professional photographer next to a Valencia leader wearing regalia on an outdoor stage, and a celebratory selfie station where students could take photos with family and friends.

Many rejoiced in having the opportunity to experience an in-person celebration between Thursday, April 15, and Saturday, April 17, 2021. In all, 1,876 students attended the event.

Rick Bray, part-time faculty, history, walked away with another degree this weekend; this time an Associate in Science (A.S.) in Fire Science Technology. Rick also had the privilege of graduating along with his child, Taylor Bray, who earned an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree and who will start at the University of Central Florida in the fall semester.

“Because Taylor and I couldn’t have a traditional graduation ceremony this year, Grad Finale was a nice way to celebrate our accomplishments,” said Rick.

“The college representatives at the event were very friendly and helpful. Having the opportunity to take graduation photos made the experience seem more real. I appreciate what Valencia College did for Taylor and me and for the other graduates at Grad Finale,” he added.

Rick Bray, who teaches history at the Poinciana and the Osceola Campuses, and his child, Taylor, both graduated from Valencia College at the same time.

Because Valencia recognized the importance of having a memorable graduation event, students were mailed graduate boxes with a cap, gown, tassel and diploma cover. A Valencia College license plate holder was also included. Valencia also invited 2020 graduates to participate.

In addition, Universal Orlando generously donated its creativity, imagination and expertise by designing the special “stages” and helped us set up. These awesome stage experiences made the event memorable for students and their families. We will share more about this dynamic partnership in the future in The Juice and The Grove.

Alexia Mitchell-Williams, staff assistant II, earned both an A.S in paralegal studies and a Bachelor of Applied Science in business and organizational leadership degree. The event, for her, was a thrill and meant something special.

“This event was important to me because it allowed me to celebrate the promise I made to Margaret L. Dorsey, my late grandmother, to continue my education no matter the road blocks,” said Alexia.

Alexia Mitchell-Williams, staff assistant II, earned both an associate and a bachelor’s degree from Valencia College.

Please take a moment to congratulate the graduates in the comments below. To view photos from the events, visit Valencia College’s Flickr account.

1 Comment

  • Daniel Smith said:

    Congratulations to all of our graduates. You should be extremely proud of all you have achieved especially over the past year. All the best in your next chapter.

    AMWed, 21 Apr 2021 09:45:08 +0000Wed, 21 Apr 2021 09:45:08 +0000am21,9:45 am

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