Students take to NRG Stadium for walk across stage as college grads

05.20.2016 | By Jeannie Peng-Armao

San Jacinto College held its Spring commencement on May 14, 2016

PASADENA, Texas – No amount of rain could stop those determined to walk across the stage to receive their San Jacinto College associate degrees and certificates during the Spring 2016 Commencement on May 14, 2016 at NRG Stadium.

“I had butterflies in my stomach, but when I got to commencement I really felt I had accomplished something in my life,” said Naomi Rosales, who will transfer to the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College to study hospitality management. Rosales also served as one of the College’s Student Government Association presidents. “I will follow our speaker’s tips on finding opportunities and planning my next step. I will carry his advice with me.”

Mr. Ric Campo served as the College’s commencement speaker. Campo is Chairman of the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee and Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Camden Property Trust. He shared his thoughts and advice with the San Jacinto College graduates. This included creating relationships, never stop learning, take risks and show up early to interviews and to work.

Taking risks and opportunities is what college is all about, especially for those who start it earlier than usual, as with the case of the 252 dual credit, early college high school and Modified Early College Academy graduates. Clear Horizons Early College High School student Kayla Sturdevant walked across the commencement stage to receive her associate degree weeks shy of her high school diploma.

“I just feel very proud of myself,” said Sturdevant. I feel more confident that I’ll succeed (in university) because I’ve had the last four years to prepare for it.” Sturdevant will move to Japan in August to study communications at Temple University. Clear Horizons Early College High School is one of four early college high schools at San Jacinto College.

For Jesus De Leon, serving as an SGA member and taking advantage of the student services at San Jacinto College helped him gain admission to his university of choice. The College offers services free to students in a variety of areas like educational planning, career services, veterans services, writing centers and math labs, all meant to better prepare them for transfers and to enter the workforce.

“All of the student services helped me to succeed,” said De Leon. “If I ever had trouble, I knew where to go to get the support system I needed. My geology professor, Professor (Malcolm) Sadler, even got me interested in science again.”

De Leon will soon begin classes at Texas Tech University this year to study geosciences with a concentration in geology.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.