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May 24, 2016

1130 degrees and certificates to be conferred at Gavilan College

Honorary Degree to be awarded to Hollister’s Larry Barr

Gavilan College will present 1130 degrees and certificates to graduating students at the annual commencement ceremony to be held this week. As per tradition, the afternoon starts with a procession of graduates walking from the Arts Quad , along Sycamore Lane, over the bridge, and into the gymnasium, where they are greeted by family and faculty.

The ceremony will begin with the national anthem, performed by Gavilan College music faculty Dahweed Behroozi and Sam Sotelo, followed by welcoming remarks from Priscilla Ahmed on behalf of the Associated Studetns of Gavilan College. The main address will be delivered by college president Steven M. Kinsella, who will be presiding over his final graduation ceremony before retiring. Instructor Jane Rekedal will present Faculty Scholarships, and instructor Jennifer Nari will induct the new lifetime mebers of the Honor Society. Board of Trustees President Laura Perry will confer the Honorary Degree upon community member Larry Barr. Dr. Kathleen Rose, Executive Vice President will present the Outstanding Scholar Award. The names of all graduates will be read aloud by Faculty of the Year Enrique Luna and part-time Faculty of the Year Leticia Palacios, as the graduates cross the stage to receive their diplomas. The ceremony ends with the traditional move of the tassle on each graduate's mortarboard from right to left, and closing remarks by Dr. Kinsella.

WHEN and WHERE: Friday, May 27, 6 p.m. in the Bud and Jean Ottmar Memorial Gymnasium. Admission is by invitation only -- each graduate received a limited number of tickets due to the large size of the graduating class, however the ceremony will be live-streamed. Go to for more information.

Graduation by the numbers:

  • 1130 degrees and certificates will be presented
  • 256 Associate in Arts (AA) degrees
  • 75 Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T)
  • 140 Associate in Science (AS) degrees
  • 89 Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T)
  • 570 Certificates

What they studied:

  • Most AA's – Liberal Arts
  • Most AA-T - Communication Studies
  • Most AS - Health Science, Allied Health
  • Most AS-T - Administration of Justice, Business
  • Most Certificates of Achievement - CSU-General Education; Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)

About the Honorary Degree recipient – Larry Barr:  

Larry Barr has been very active in the community. He has served as the President of the San Benito County Business Council for the past 12 years where he has worked for the expansion of Gavilan College into the surrounding communities.

He currently is Chairman of the Board for the San Benito County Food Bank which serves food to 3,500 to 5,000 people in need each month. Larry has also served as an advisor to the Monterey Bay Air Pollution Control District, and is an active Rotarian where he has held several local and district positions. Larry founded a legacy project to recognize academic achievement by high school students. He has organized numerous international service projects and founded a highly praised dental hygiene project that has delivered over 50,000 toothbrushes to under privileged children in Columbia, the Philippines, Mexico, and Thailand. This ongoing project delivers dental hygiene education and tooth paste along with the toothbrushes. Larry also helped lead a group of 10 high school Interactors to Panama, where they delivered, assembled, and delivered approximately 300 wheelchairs. Larry also took the Interactors to the jungles of Mindanao, where the launched and completed the construction of a two room high school. Additionally, Larry was responsible for the renovation of Tagabaca Elementary School and the construction of a new learning center at Magsaysay Elementary School. Each school has since been fitted with a source of clean water and flushing toilets. Larry has raised a substantial amount of money for the purchase of computers and other learning based equipment for each of the schools.

With a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, Math and Physics from University of California at Davis and Chemical Engineering at Stanford, education is very important to Larry and he lets audiences all over the world know this every chance he gets, saying: “Education is the one thing that once you get it, no one can take it away.”

Last modified: August 17, 2011
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