Grad Students

Commencement Ceremony

76th Commencement Ceremony

June 6, 2024 at 9:00 am

Shepard Stadium

Grad Fest 2024 - May 31st 5-7pm and 7-8pm rehearsal
Online rehearsal June 4th, 1:00pm - 

2024 Student Commencement Speaker

Jacob Amanya

 Jacob Amanya is a graduating Psychology major at Pierce College and is a proud United States Marine. While at Pierce, Jacob worked a part-time job and helped with his two younger siblings at home. He managed all of this while still carrying out his duties as a Marine every other last weekend of the month. Despite all these responsibilities, he has excelled in his academics. He earned recognition from the Umoja program for his meritorious academic performance. Jacob earned a spot on the Dean’s Honor List three consecutive semesters and recently was named to the President’s Honor List. Jacob is an active Umoja student and has participated in various events that have transformed his life as a student and a person in general.  He feels the Umoja program has opened doors for him in terms of enlightenment in his academic path, building leadership skills and making meaningful connections on campus. Jacob is an active ASO Club member of the English, Psychology, and Umoja clubs. Additionally, he has joined the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society and the Pierce College Men’s soccer team. Jacob is always on the go to connect with new students, helping them get plugged in various clubs and helping them utilize the resources at campus such as the Veteran’s Resource Center, Center for Academic Success, EOPS, and the Library. His future goal is to become a psychologist, to apply his passion in working with youth battling drug addiction. Jacob believes he could use his experience and expertise in psychology to help them overcome problems and make the community a better and safer place. 

Nichelle Henderson


Nichelle Henderson is a college faculty and union organizer that advocates for and builds capacity around the issues of education, labor, women’s reproductive health and political empowerment. She is a former middle school classroom teacher. Currently employed at California State University Los Angeles, Nichelle is a Faculty Advisor and Clinical Field Supervisor with the Cal State TEACH teacher preparation program; where she instructs and provides support for new and pre-service teacher candidates working toward multiple subjects teaching credentials. Led by the desire to be the voice of the under-represented, the strength to stand strong for what she believes in and a passion for defending worker’s rights, she is actively involved with labor. As an active member of the California Faculty Association, she has served as Faculty Rights Chair of the Los Angeles chapter; having led a team that represents bargaining unit faculty, coaches, counselors and librarians in filing and responding to contractual grievances and Title IX complaints and currently serves as the chapter Vice President and Chair of the Political Action Committee. She is also a member of the statewide bargaining and representation teams. In 2016, Nichelle was recognized as Lecturer of the Year.

Nichelle’s love of politics and labor activism led her to complete the Emerge CA political training program in 2015, the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute and in 2018 and the LA County Federation of Labor’s Civic Leadership Academy. She is a member of several Democratic Clubs and is an elected delegate to the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee representing AD66, serving as a Co-Chair of the Credentials Committee. In 2018, Nichelle was recognized as the LACDP female Democrat of the Year representing AD 66 and by Assembly member Al Muratsuchi as a Woman of Distinction. In 2019, Nichelle was appointed to the Los Angeles County Quality and Productivity Commission as a labor commissioner. As the 1st Vice President of the Los Angeles African American Women PAC, she chairs the Political Involvement and Issues Committees striving to increase voter participation, raise community awareness and get qualified Black women and women of color elected to public office through education and civic engagement.

 Nichelle, the oldest of three children, was born in LA County and raised in the unincorporated West Athens area. Her parents, dedicated union members, instilled in her a strong work ethic and a stance to fearlessly stand firm in her values. Her father, a retired automotive mechanic is a graduate of LA Trade Tech College and Cal State University Los Angeles and her mother, now deceased, a retired nurse attended LA Southwest College. Nichelle is a Gold Tie alumnae of St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood, CA, an alumni of Cal State Los Angeles and Chapman Universities and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

 Nichelle is married to Gardena City Mayor Pro Tem, Dr. Mark E. Henderson. They have four adult children and a granddaughter.

Carmen V. Lidz

C. Lidz

Carmen V. Lidz is a technology executive with over 20 years of leadership experience driving strategic change. She joined the Los Angeles Community Colleges District (LACCD) in 2019 where she is charged to ensure LACCD’s technology transformation plans are rapidly moving forward to enable student success. She is accountable for overall technology strategy and operations in support of  all 9 colleges serving over 200,000 students.

Prior to joining the Los Angeles Community Colleges District, she served as the Chief Information Officer and Vice Chancellor for the City Colleges of Chicago, Managing Deputy Commissioner and Chief Information Officer for City of Chicago, the University of Chicago. She also held technology roles in the private sector and served in the US Armed Forces.

Throughout her career she has garnered a reputation as a strategist, a technology innovator, and a leader who drives rapid business-focused change. Carmen is widely recognized for strategic critical thinking, technical expertise, indefatigable implementation abilities, creativity, and innovation.

Carmen is a strong believer in the community colleges mission of providing education to all and devising a path for upward mobility. Carmen is also a committed supporter of technology entrepreneurs, women in technology, and youth STEM programs where she volunteers her time.


General tips/safety information.

  • Alcohol is not to be brought and/or consumed on campus.
  • Balloons, noisemakers, beach balls, laser pointers, umbrellas, fireworks, etc. are not allowed.
  • Graduation caps may be decorated. Pierce College reserves the right to remove any caps that are deemed inappropriate.
  • It is recommended that graduates not wear heels and guests wear comfortable shoes since the day may include a lot of walking to get from car to stadium.    
  • Children must be supervised at all times and are not permitted on the stage with their graduate.
  • Leave valuable belongings (purse, etc.) at home. Pierce College is not responsible for your belongings when you walk across the stage to graduate.
  • Smoking is not permitted on campus.
  • Avoid unnecessary conversation and movement during the ceremony. Individuals who engage in inappropriate or disruptive behavior may be removed from the event.
  • Students may not take selfies or use selfie sticks while crossing the stage. Due to fire code regulations, all main access aisles must remain clear of objects - backpacks, strollers, mobility assistive devices, etc.
  • As a courtesy to your fellow graduates, students are asked to return to their seats after they receive their in-lieu diploma. Commencement does not officially end until the proclamation of degrees has been made.  

Commencement FAQ

The 76th Commencement ceremony will be held at Shepard Stadium at Pierce College on Thursday, June 6th at 9:00 am.

The campus will open at 7:00 am. Graduates should arrive by 7:30 am at the Field House located next to Shepard stadium. Arrive early, Pierce College is a large campus and some of the parking lots are at least a 15-minute walk from the stadium. 

Tickets are required to enter the stadium. Due to limited stadium seating, each graduate can request up to 6 guest tickets. The link to request tickets was emailed to all graduates. Please complete the “Additional Ticket” request form if you would like additional tickets. Students will be contacted via their LACCD email should additional tickets become available. The last day to pick up your tickets will be on Friday, May 31st at Grad Fest.

You can pick up your tickets at the bookstore starting Monday, May 6th
You must have a picture ID to pick up your tickets

In order for commencement to start on time, the saving of seats will be permitted only up to 30 minutes prior to commencement, at which time all seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Yes, you must RSVP by Friday, May 24th. Please check your LACCD email for the RSVP link.

In order to participate in graduation, you must have a submitted a graduation petition for Summer 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024 or Spring 2024 by April 15. If you didn’t receive an email (make sure you check your spam folder), contact the Welcome Center located in the Student Services building. 

Summer 23, Fall 2023 graduates, and Winter 2024 and Spring 2024 candidates. 

We will have 2 virtual rehearsals and Grad Fest.

GRAD FEST – Student can enjoy free food, live music, purchase cap & gown, cap decoration and rehearsal/ticket pick-up

Day: Friday, May 31st 

Time: Grad Fest 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

          Rehearsal 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Location: Shepard Stadium

Online rehearsal:

While preparing for the procession to begin, position the tassel on your mortarboard (hat) on the right side. Towards the end of the ceremony, you will be instructed to switch the tassel from the right to the left side of your hat. When marching in the recessional, the tassel will be on the left side to signify that you are a graduate.

Name cards will be given to students eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony on the day of the ceremony. You will need to clearly print your name on it, and you will keep the card with you until you walk onto the stage.  You will give the name card to the announcer at the podium. They will keep the card and give it to the photographer at the end of the ceremony. The readers have been instructed not to read additional comments written on the cards.  The photographer will take a picture of you as you receive your in-lieu diploma.

Parking is free. Shuttles are scheduled to pick up guests at various parking lots before and after commencement.

No, the ceremony will be added to the Pierce College YouTube channel. Links will be available after the ceremony.

Degree candidate seating will be divided by last name. Last names beginning with the letters A – L will sit on the home side of the stadium. Last names beginning with the letters M – Z will sit on the visitor side. Nursing students will sit together. As you arrive at the Field House, commencement staff will direct you.

Students with physical disabilities who are unable to walk to the stage will be seated prior to the beginning of the ceremony. The diplomas will be issued on the stage and require going up and down stairs or a ramp. Any student with a disability who needs accommodations or assistance must inform Genice Sarcedo-Magruder in the Academic Accommodations Center at (818) 710-3318 or Special arrangements will be made for those students to participate in the ceremony. 

Parking - Coming Soon

Please note the ceremony will be held at Shepard Stadium, located at the top of the hill in the center of campus.