By Theresa Genova, director, Columbia College-San Luis Obispo

It is commencement season and usually one of my favorite times of the academic year. Due to the pandemic, many colleges and universities have gone to virtual ceremonies, including Columbia College. Going virtual for a second year means that I have not been able to address our local graduates in person. For this reason, I am using the summer newsletter as my platform to address and take pride in the accomplishments of our local students and graduates. Students will attest I can talk at great length, so I am submitting a condensed version of my composed speech below.

In fall of 2001, Columbia College formed an exclusive partnership with Cuesta College. It was a new era whereby select four-year institutions began offering bachelor degrees on community college campuses. This provided non-traditional students more options for local higher education. The outcome of this unique partnership is reflected in the celebration of 30 local baccalaureate candidates for graduation in 2020 and 2021, most of whom completed their associate degrees, general education, and elective courses at Cuesta College.

Theresa Genova, San Luis Obispo

For close to 20 years, I have had thousands of students walk through my office door. I want you to know that each one of you has touched my life. It has been a joy to be your advisor and director. As you complete your degrees, I am both proud and excited. In addition to managing careers, families, and personal lives, you have managed to achieve your academic goals. You are amazing!

I know there is one thing in life that is undeniable. Change is inevitable; we learned this living through the pandemic. It is much like life if we lived in a snow globe. Things seem to be settled and then someone or something eventually comes along and shakes things up; then everything is swirling in a frenzy again. Now think about that for a moment. It sounds a lot like what you have experienced as a student. You now know you have the ability to grow and to adapt. More so now than ever because the knowledge you have acquired enables you to think critically and flourish.

I want to personally congratulate you and wish you all the best that life has to offer. I wish you much success in all your life’s endeavors. Go out and share your educational achievement. Recognize your ability to positively affect the lives of others. With your education, you can make the world a better place through the carriage of your knowledge.

Walt Disney once said: “Around here, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us to new paths.” So, with his wise words, I say to you: Stay curious, be a lifelong learner, continue to move forward because your future starts right now. Congratulations graduates and all students nearing degree completion! Also, don’t forget to read the rest of the articles in this month’s newsletter in the column on the right!

Congratulations to our dean’s list honorees!
We are proud to honor the San Luis Obispo members of the Spring 2021 dean’s list! A student must have completed 12 semester hours in a 16-week period and achieved a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0-point scale. See the list