Courtesy of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
by Ray Newton
The two largest higher education institutions in Yavapai County both set records when they had commencement ceremonies in May.
The institutions hosted their commencement programs a day apart in the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University–Prescott (ERAU) honored 465 students who received either bachelor’s or master’s degrees during its May 7 ceremonies. That number included 21 Worldwide campus graduates, nine of whom received master’s degrees. Four ERAU-Prescott students also earned master’s degrees.
Presenting the degrees were ERAU President P. Barry Butler and Chancellor Anette Karlsson.
Twenty-nine ROTC cadets were commissioned as officers in the U.S. Air Force, while 11 were commissioned in the U.S. Army.
Yavapai College graduated 668 students with associate degrees and certificates during its ceremonies on May 8. YC Governing Board Chair Deb McCasland, herself a YC graduate, bestowed the degrees and certificates.
YC President Lisa Rhine praised the graduates, saying she admired their perseverance, strength and dedication in completing degrees under often challenging circumstances.
For both institutions, the number of students who earned degrees broke all prior commencement records for spring commencements.
Student enrollments at both schools were up during the 2021-2022 academic year. In contrast, many colleges and universities around the nation faced declining enrollments the past two years.