The ceremony will celebrate the achievements of this year's outstanding crop of 425 graduates participating in the event. It will take place in Hoy Stadium at Phoenix College, 1202 W. Thomas Road, beginning at 7 p.m.
Mayor Stanton was sworn in as mayor of the country's sixth-largest city in January after winning the November runoff election. A former Phoenix City Council member who represented areas of north Phoenix, Mayor Stanton grew up in Phoenix, attending Cortez High School. He earned his undergraduate degree from Marquette University and a law degree from the University of Michigan.
The 2011-2012 graduating class includes 1,169 degree candidates and 642 certificate candidates. The Class of 2012 also has produced 53 students who have maintained a 4.0 grade point average.
In addition to a keynote speech by Mayor Stanton, other highlights will include a salutation by Benjamin Hoff, a valedictory address by Melissa Joy Jones, and announcement of the Diane H. Thomas scholarship, which provides a $10,000 scholarship to a graduating sophomore planning to transfer to a four-year college or university. The late Diane Thomas taught at PC in the 1980s.
Additionally, the PC 2011-2012 Distinguished Teaching Award will be presented to faculty member Dianne Miller from the Department of Communications, Reading, ASL and Education. A fireworks display will conclude the program.
Salutatorian Benjamin Hoff is receiving an Associate in Arts degree and plans to transfer to Arizona State University to continue pursuing a bachelor's and master's degree in Communications. Hoff is one of the first students to earn PC's new International Studies Certificate and has participated in PC's Model United Nations. Born with glaucoma, Hoff has never let his lack of sight stop him from achieving his academic goals and participating in extracurricular activities.
Valedictorian Melissa Joy Jones received her Associates in Applied Science degree in Fashion Design. Her goal is to become an entrepreneur and sell her own line of clothes. She graduates with a 4.0 grade point average. She also volunteers with her church and Habitat for Humanity. She plans to continue taking more advanced Fashion Design and Business courses.
Graduates, friends and family members attending the event are encouraged to use the North parking lot since spaces in the West parking lot are expected to fill up quickly.