For Immediate Release
June 21, 2013
The Class of 2013 will celebrate Lower Columbia College’s 77th Commencement Friday, June 21, at 6:30 p.m. at Kelso High School’s Schroeder Field with an unlimited number of family and friends. No tickets are required for admission.
For the first time in more than a decade, due to construction at Myklebust Gymnasium, graduate guests will not be limited by the size of the venue. The Kelso stadium seats 5,000 compared to about 1,000 for the LCC gym. Students earning a high school diploma from LCC and GED Certificates will also participate in the ceremony alongside college graduates. In past years, they have held a separate ceremony, again due to space limitations.
LCC students earned 736 degrees and one-year certificates during the 2012-2013 year – 349 Associate in Arts transfer degrees, 252 Associate in Applied Science (professional technical) degrees and 135 Certificates of Proficiency.
Sixty-seven students will graduate with Highest Honors for completing an associate degree with a grade point average above 3.79. Another 126 students are graduating with Honors for achieving a 3.5 to 3.79 GPA while earning their associate degree. A record 52 Running Start students will earn LCC associate’s degrees along with their high school diplomas this month.
One is Michaela Lynn Dunn of Kalama who will also receive the LCC Scholastic Achievement Award for the top female transfer student; Colin Bossio, Red Devil basketball player, has earned the same award for a male transfer student. This spring he was named the Male Scholar Athlete of the Year by the Northwest Athletic Association for Community Colleges. The Scholastic Achievement Awards for Professional Technical students will go to Crystal Lee Hadden, Accounting Technician, and Matthew Muske, Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technology.
Commencement speaker will be LCC’s 2013 Alumnus of the Year Paul Laufman, who graduated from Lower Columbia Junior College in 1958. Laufman studied math and science to pursue a career in engineering and was a member of the Red Devil’s baseball team.
After earning his Associate’s Degree, he attended Washington State University, completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He studied in the Master of Science in Systems Management Program at the University of Southern California.
An early participant in America’s space programs, Laufman was a project engineer in the development of rocket propulsion systems for major defense and manned space programs, including the Apollo Moon Landing and the Space Shuttles.
In 1995, he co-founded United Paradyne Corporation, which became the exclusive contractor providing propellants and pressurants for space missions and many commercial satellite launches worldwide.
Lower Columbia College is a public two-year community and technical college, founded in 1934. LCC serves more than 4,000 students per quarter, most from Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties, Washington.