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2017 Commencement Information

Congratulations to our upcoming graduates of Berkeley City College.  The Berkeley City College graduation ceremony for the Class of 2017, is scheduled for Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 6:00 p.m., in the Zellerbach Auditorium at the University of California, Berkeley.  Tickets will be required for graduates and guest to attend the ceremony.  Graduates do not need to RSVP to attend graduation.  The Auditorium will open at approximately 5:30pm and the ceremony will begin promptly at 6:00pm.  The ceremony is expected to last approximately 2 hours.


Beginning May 1st, you may go to the Bookstore and and pick up your regalia, honor cord (if applicable). You will also receive a courtesy 5-pack of invitations with your regalia order.



Donald E. Lacy, Jr. is a writer, director, actor, comedian, radio talk show host and community activist. As a comedian he was inducted into the Bay Area Blues society Hall of Fame in 2013.  A graduate of San Francisco State University, Mr. Lacy holds a B. A. Degree in Theater Arts, (with a film minor). His television and film acting credits include: Cherry with James Franco, the NBC show Trauma, LA Heat on ABC and 2010’s Jack, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.  Mr. Lacy has also performed extensively on stage in live performances.

But Donald Lacy is perhaps best known in the Bay Area as a grieving father who turned his personal tragedy into a wake up call for the war on children in Oakland and across the nation. In 1991 his daughter LoEshe was a student at McClymond’s High school and was an innocent bystander gunned down on the streets of Oakland.  Like any parent, Mr. Lacy grieved but  also turned his grief into a vehicle for change and awareness when he established the Lovelife Foundation in honor of his daughter. Desperate to find some sense in this killing, Lacy was back in the neighborhood within a day, describing the tragedy as a “call to action.” Lacy, who grew up in Oakland and Hayward, moved back from Los Angeles and formed the LoveLife Foundation. It galvanized the city to combat gang warfare and even led to a truce between the gangs involved in LoEshe’s death.  The Lovelife Foundation is credited with helping to reduce violence among youth in the City of Oakland to a 32-year low in 1999. The Lovelife Media and Performing Arts Training Academy is an after-school program that trains youth in acting, video editing and production and radio broadcasting. Students produce and broadcast award winning radio and television programs.

Mr. Lacy was the 2003 Magic Award recipient for his work with the LoveLife Foundation.  Congresswoman Barbara Lee from the floor of Congress recognized him for his leadership of the LoveLife Foundation. In 2006 the Take Wings Foundation for outstanding community service awarded The Angel Award Mr. Lacy. In 2007 he received the Community Service Award from the American Red Cross.

Mr. Lacy is a weekly announcer Saturdays 7 AM-12 noon on KPOO 89.5 F.M. and fill-in host on KPFA 94.1 F.M.



You should plan to arrive at Zellerbach Auditorium no later than 5:15 p.m. Thursday,  May 25, 2017  When you come to Zellerbach, please check in at the reception table and pick up your announcement card. Hang on to this card — you will need to hand it to the announcer when it’s time to cross the stage during the ceremony.


Zellerbach Auditorium is wheelchair accessible, and the graduation ceremony will be sign language interpreted.  However, disabled seating is limited.  Graduates and guests with special seating needs please contact Roger Toliver by email: Roger will work with Zellerbach staff to assist you with all your accommodation needs and questions; please contact Roger by May 19, 2017.


There are parking garages in the area, which are likely to fill up early.  Please inform your guests to allow ample time to find parking and keep in mind the possible traffic congestion in the area. Please see the Zellerbach Parking Map which shows several parking areas as well as other transportation options.  Keep in mind that many parking lots may require payment in quarters.  


You will be given 6 tickets for guests and yourself to attend the ceremony. These tickets can picked up from the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall beginning May 2nd.  As a courtesy of Berkeley City College, tickets are free for graduates, family, and friends.  All graduates & guests will need to produce a ticket in order to enter the auditorium. You will also receive 5 courtesy announcements when you pick up your regalia at our campus bookstore.  If you would like to purchase more announcements, you can do so at the bookstore. The announcements are sold in packs of five (5) for $5. The Berkeley City College bookstore is located on the 5thfloor in Room 517. They can be reach at (510) 981-1012 for more information.


A black gown & cap with a tassel is required for all graduates.  The cap and gown will be available for purchase at our campus bookstore located on the 5th floor beginning May 1, 2017. The regalia purchase is $35 + tax, which includes the cap, gown, tassel and courtesy 5-pack of Announcements.  At the commencement ceremony graduates will also receive a BCC Diploma Cover and BCC Zipper Pull.  The regalia set that you purchase is yours to keep; it is not a rental.  Since there are no dressing rooms at Zellerbach, you are encouraged to arrive in your cap and gown.

Honor Students: If you are an academic honor student, your honor cord will be included in your cap & gown set.   Please refer to the section of this letter regarding “honors at graduation” to see if you are eligible to receive the honor cord (Honors pertains only to Associate Degree candidates). Your name will be on an honors list at the bookstore.

Note: The bookstore only accepts cash, credit and debit cards for payment.


The ceremony will begin promptly at 6:00 p.m.  At approximately 5:30 p.m., all graduates will be asked to form a line outside Zellerbach and will be directed to enter the auditorium.  Ushers will assist with ceremony procedures – please follow their guidance.  Reserved seating for graduates will be in the first several rows of the center section.  Upon cue from the usher, the first graduate in line will enter the first row and proceed left to the end of the center aisle; other graduates will follow.  When the first row is filled, subsequent rows will be filled in the same manner.

All graduates should remain standing until directed to be seated.

At the point in the ceremony when degrees are awarded, the first row of graduates will be asked to stand.  Graduates will follow the guidance of the usher and proceed toward the back of the auditorium in order to form a line, in preparation to begin the Degree Path.   Following the guidance of the ushers, you will then approach the right hand side of the stage one at a time and give your announcement card to the announcer.  As your name is announced, proceed across the stage to be greeted by our Berkeley City College Administrators, District Trustees and our Peralta Community College District Chancellor. After receiving your congratulatory certificate from President Rowena Tomaneng, please step down the stairs and return to your original seat.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, you will be led out of the auditorium by an usher.  The first row of graduates will exit first.


GradImages will provide professional graduation photography the evening of the ceremony.  All graduates will be photographed individually at the ceremony as they receive their congratulatory certificate. GradImages is one of the world’s largest commencement photography businesses.  For more than 30 years GradImages have been capturing the accomplishments of over 1.5 million graduates each year. Please visit their website where you will find your photos available to share and order online.  You are not obligated to purchase any of the photographs taken by GradImages.


A reception will immediately follow the graduation ceremony where there will be light refreshments served. The reception will be held on the UC Berkeley Campus.  All graduates, family, and friends are welcome to attend.  More details to come. 


Associate Degree candidates with the following cumulative grade point averages at the end of the Fall 2016 semester will be recognized at graduation as follows:

3.25 – 3.49                        Cum Laude, With Honors

3.50 – 3.74                        Magna Cum Laude, With High Honors

3.75 – 4.00                        Summa Cum Laude, With Highest Honors

Please be reminded that this is a cumulative grade point average reflecting ALL COLLEGE WORK through Fall 2016.  This includes college work completed both at Peralta and other colleges. Again, Certificate recipients are not eligible for honors.

For those students graduating with Associate Degrees in June 2017, your cumulative GPA will be recalculated once grades from Spring 2017 semester are finalized.  If at that time you qualify for honors, your transcript will be appropriately noted.


Each year a class valedictorian and salutatorian are chosen from the candidates for the Associate Degree.  Certificate candidates are not eligible.

The class valedictorian is the student in the graduating class with the highest cumulative grade point average at the end of the Fall 2016 semester. This individual will be asked to deliver a speech to the graduating class.

The class salutatorian is the student in the graduating class with the second highest cumulative grade point average at the end of the Fall 2016 semester. This individual will be asked to lead the class in the moving of the cap tassel at the end of the ceremony.



Diplomas and certificates are currently available in the Admissions and Records for Berkeley City College graduates who have completed all of their requirements as of the end of the Fall 2016 semester.  If you are a Spring 2017 graduate you will receive a letter from our PCCD District Office of Admissions & Records notifying you of the date your Diplomas and/or Certificates will be available for pick up at Berkeley City College’s Admissions Office.

Special Note:

Zellerbach does not allow balloons or food/drinks inside.  If you or your guests plan to bring balloons to the ceremony, the Zellerbach staff will keep the balloons in a separate room and they will give you a claim ticket so that you can pick them up upon your departure. 

Zellerbach Auditorium/Cal Performances and Berkeley City College are not responsible for lost or stolen items.


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