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Commencement 2016 Information

Congratulations to our upcoming graduates of Berkeley City College.  The Berkeley City College graduation ceremony for the Class of 2016, is scheduled for Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 7:00 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 6:15pm.  The ceremony lasts approximately 2 hours.


Please click here to download the 2016 Graduation Newsletter, click here to download a copy of the photography flyer and click here to download a copy of the graduation program.  The graduation mailing that the graduates receive will contain the graduation newsletter & the photography flier.  You will also receive a courtesy 5-pack of invitations & your honor cord (if applicable) when you pick up your regalia at the bookstore available beginning  May 6, 2016.


Tenzin Seldon graduated with Phi Beta Kappa, highest academic distinction in the Department of Comparative Studies at Stanford University. At Stanford, Seldon served as the Coordinator to President Obama’s Interfaith Challenge to foster and emphasize interfaith understanding among peers. She also organized numerous meaningful discussions with Chinese and Tibetan scholars on and off campus, including few notable dialogues with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

As the first Tibetan-American Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, she studied MPhil Comparative Social Policy. At Oxford, Seldon led as Outreach Director for Oxford Women for Women International and a member of the renowned debating team, Oxford Union. She serves in various local, national, and international leadership capacities. Seldon’s work at the United Nations Regional Office focused on developing capacity of Asia-Pacific on the rights of persons with disabilities in disasters and youth engagement in the region. She also was a guest lecturer for debate at Rangsit University. In addition, she has worked with the Israel/Palestine peace negotiations, as a Clinton Global Initiative Fellow to reform educational pedagogy in India, and with President Mary Robinson to develop Climate Justice League chapters in the United States among young leaders. She was a Tibet Corp professional, both in the field and virtually, at CTA’s Department of Information and International Relations, and is a co-producer of the documentary, ‘State of Control,’ which premiered in the United Nations Film Festival among others.

Tenzin’s work has been recognized around the world, a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, a Harry S. Truman Scholar, Asia Pacific Forum’s ‘Youth of Tomorrow Award’, OZY Magazine’s ‘Rising Star’ and ‘5 Civil-Rights Leaders for a New Generation’.


You should plan to arrive at Zellerbach Auditorium no later than 6:15 p.m. Thursday,  May 26, 2016  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 Marilyn Clausen by email : Marilyn will work with Zellerbach staff to assist you with all your accommodation needs and questions; please contact Marilyn by May 13, 2016.


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 map on page 4 of the graduation newsletter (link above) for a map of UC Berkeley, which shows several parking areas as well as other transportation options.  Keep in mind that many parking lots may require payment in quarters.  Also, there may be construction going on around Zellerbach and can affect some parking areas.


You will be given 6 tickets for guests and yourself to attend the ceremony. These tickets can picked up from the EOP&S Office on the 3rd floor from May 9th to May 18th.  After May 18th graduates will be given additional tickets, if needed, up to a maximum of 10.  If there are still tickets remaining up to the ceremony date, then tickets will be available at the door of Zellerbach Hall until we run out.  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. Our 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 after April 15, 2016. 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 7:00 p.m.  At approximately 6:30 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 Interim President Frances White, 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 at 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 upstairs in the mezzanine of Zellerbach where there will be light refreshments served.  All graduates, family, and friends are welcome to attend.


Associate Degree candidates with the following cumulative grade point averages at the end of the Fall 2015 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 2015.  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 2016, your cumulative GPA will be recalculated once grades from Spring 2016 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 (June 2015 or December 2015) with the highest cumulative grade point average at the end of the Fall 2015 semester. This individual will be asked to deliver a speech to the graduating class.

The class salutatorian is the student in the graduating class (June 2015 or December 2015) with the second highest cumulative grade point average at the end of the Fall 2015 semester. This individual will be asked to lead the class in the moving of the cap tassel at the end of the ceremony.

Note: Since Spring 2016 grades do not become final until June 2016; they are not included in the determination of the class valedictorian & salutatorian.



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 2015 semester.  If you are a Spring 2016 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 BCC’s Admissions Office.

Special Note:

Zellerbach does not allow balloons 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. 

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


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