EAC to honor Class of 2020 at first virtual commencement in 131-year history

THATCHER, Ariz. — Eastern Arizona College will honor the Class of 2020 at a virtual commencement on May 8 at 7:30 p.m. on the College’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The entire community is welcome to attend this virtual event celebrating the accomplishments of 522 candidates for graduation. Graduates from the Class of 2020 are also invited to walk in the 2021 Commencement ceremony if they wish.

The students and the assembled audience of family and well-wishers will be virtually called to order by ASEAC student body president, Lacey Hemp, from Sahuarita.

Taking the podium on behalf of the graduating class will be Connor Christensen, a graduate of Thatcher High School. Christensen is the son of Sean and Lori Christensen. He is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average and plans to transfer to the University of Arizona to pursue a degree in biology with an eventual goal of becoming a medical physician. Christensen is a member of Phi Theta Kappa at EAC, and has been the recipient of many scholastic awards. He was honored with the John Mickelson Endowed Scholarship, the PSS/OSS book scholarship, the PTK All-Arizonan Academic Scholarship, and has been named the biology and chemistry student of the year.

Kate McCluskey will be the faculty speaker for the ceremony. McCluskey has been a member of the Eastern Arizona College faculty for the past 30 years. She currently holds the position of Wellness Center Supervisor and Head Softball Coach. As one of EAC’s most successful coaches, McCluskey has led her teams to three ACCAC championships and one ACCAC co-championship. Her teams have won Region 1 championships three times, been Region 1 runners-up six times, and have attended national championship tournaments three times. In addition, McCluskey has been inducted to the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.

McCluskey is not only a celebrated coach at EAC, she is a beloved member of our campus community and throughout the Gila Valley. She models good citizenship for her athletes and engages them in service opportunities that help shape their character and ours. She has helped thousands of students at the Wellness Center and on softball field, and lifts people’s hearts on a daily basis.

“We are grateful for the technology that allows us to celebrate this important milestone in our graduates’ lives,” said Todd Haynie, EAC president. “While this unprecedented global challenge prevents us from celebrating in-person, it will not stop us from recognizing our students and all they plan to achieve.”

Concluding the evening’s commencement ceremony will be the conferring of Associate of Arts, Associate of Business, Associate of General Studies, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science degrees to the graduation candidates.

Graduates are encouraged to watch their mailboxes for a special package that is scheulded to arrive prior to the virtual commencement. This packet will included instructions on how they can submit a photo for the virtual ceremony. Graduates will also receive an additional packet after commencement that includes a diploma and a small congratulations gift.