Friday, April 29, 2011

Rio Salado College Commencement Celebrates Student Success

Rio Salado College will celebrate the accomplishments of the 2010-11 graduates at a commencement ceremony May 4 at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix. The free ticketed event begins at 7 p.m. The theme for the evening is New Horizons, New Beginnings with Catherine Hendrickson and Reco A. Jackson as featured student speakers.

Hendrickson overcame much adversity to earn her Associate in Applied Science in chemical dependency. She is a reentry student who began her college education while incarcerated. She is planning to continue her education and has been accepted to a bachelor’s degree program in counseling and hopes to ultimately earn a doctorate in behavioral health.

“It is my passion to help others overcome the obstacles they face and make better choices for themselves,” said Hendrickson.

Jackson, a wife and working mother of five children, had put her college education on hold. Two years ago she received a grant and was able to return to school. Jackson will receive an Associate in Arts degree and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in physical education and eventually a master’s degree in sports management.

“Attaining my degree at Rio Salado gives me a sense of pride. With five children, I am constantly reminding them that education is important,” said Jackson. “Now I have set the example.”

Additional highlights include congratulatory remarks from Maricopa Community College District Governing Board President, Randolph Lumm, MCCD Chancellor, Dr. Rufus Glasper and Rio Salado College President, Dr. Chris Bustamante.

Nearly 130 students will participate in this year’s commencement exercises.

Graduation Statistics:

431 Associate Degrees

94 Associate in Arts
59 Associate in General Studies
18 Associate in Business – General Requirements
5 Associate in Science
255 Associate in Applied Science

2,813 Certificates of Completion

Additional Graduations:
GED Graduation will be held May 3, at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix at 7:00 p.m. More than 200 of this year’s 457 graduates will participate in this year’s ceremony.

Dental Hygiene Pinning will be held May 4, at the Rio Salado College Conference Center at 2:00 p.m. and will honor 31 graduates.

For more information visit For grad night photos visit Rio Salado’s Facebook page .


Rio Salado College is a nationally recognized leader of online higher education and serves more than 62,000 students annually. It has the largest Adult Basic Education program in Arizona with seven centers located throughout Maricopa County. Rio Salado College is one of ten colleges which comprise the Maricopa Community College District.