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Congratulations to more than 2,000 graduates: Commencement 2011


This year, the college awarded 2,022 degrees and certificates including 650 transfer degrees, 845 career degrees and certificates, 405 GEDs and 122 adult high school diplomas. It was the college’s largest graduating class in more than 10 years and the first time the college commencement ceremony was held at Comcast Arena. Edmonds Community College held its 44th annual commencement ceremony June 17 at Comcast Arena at Everett. About 450 graduates participated in the ceremony.

The student speakers were Marti Smithsund of Seattle, who earned her Project Management certificate, and Omar Willis of Mill Creek, who received his Associate of Arts degree.

Smithsund, who holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, came to Edmonds CC to update her skills after working as a corporate trainer. She enrolled after attending a Project Management program open house.

Her husband also retrained mid-career at the college, earning an Advanced Paralegal Certificate. “I’m preparing myself for new opportunities in a changing economy,” Smithsund said. “I feel a sense of urgency – to use (and not waste) the talents I’ve been given, cultivated over years with training and experience.” After graduation, she will seek work in the project management field.

Willis always wanted to go to college, but did not think he could afford it. After graduating from Lynnwood High School, he began work as a hairdresser for Gene Juarez Salons and Spas. He enjoys the work, however, after his father passed away, Willis learned he qualified for a college tuition waiver because of his father’s service as a Vietnam Veteran. Now Willis, 24, is trying to get as far as he can toward his goal of earning a master’s degree, before the benefit runs out when he turns 26. Motivated, he finished his Associate of Arts in just one year, while working, and earned a 3.9 GPA.

He has also been involved on campus: performing in the college’s production of The Member of the Wedding, participating in service-learning projects with AmeriCorps program Students in Service, and leading the student philosophy club. He’ll also be in Molière’s The Miser June 8, 11 and 12, a Theatre Arts Students Organization production in the Black Box Theatre. This fall, Willis plans to attend Western Washington University or the University of Washington to study theater and communications.

This year's ceremony also included the first graduates of the college's new Emergency Management and Business Continuity and Energy Management degree programs.

2010-11 Graduating Class — By the Numbers

Information is based on May 2011 data

2010-11 College Highlights

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Edmonds Community College Commencement

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