13:14 PM

It’s Almost Here! 73rd Commencement Sets the Stage


By Sheryl E. Taylor

The countdown to UHD’s 73rd Commencement Ceremony is upon us. More than 2,500 proud Gator graduates will cross the stage on Saturday, December 10 during two ceremonies at Minute Maid Park—home of the World Series Champion Astros. Celebrating the graduates, the ceremony will feature guest speaker Deborah A. Santiago and two student speakers, David Ramirez and Agda Helena Esperanza.

Santiago, who will address Gators at both ceremonies, is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Excelencia in Education—America’s premier authority on efforts accelerating Latino student success in higher education. As an innovator, thought leader, and educational visionary, Santiago has led research and advanced evidence-based practices and strategies for more than 20 years at the national level to improve educational opportunities and success to serve Latinos and all students better.

The 9 a.m. ceremony will feature student speaker David Ramirez who is earning a Bachelor of Arts in English summa cum laude. For Ramirez, UHD was his college of choice, and it provided what he needed—a nurturing environment and a family. He discovered both through UHD’s Men of L.E.G.A.C.I. Student Success Program. “If you are a man of color, UHD provides a safe place and a path for success. Come here to get your education. The space provided here at UHD makes me feel I belong.”

Agda Helena Esperanza is the student speaker for the 3 p.m. ceremony and is receiving a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. When she decided that she would continue pursuing her goal of earning a degree, she didn’t hesitate in choosing UHD. As a first-generation graduate, Esperanza is already putting her degree to work as an intern at LyondellBasell in its Cybersecurity department. After graduation, she plans to continue her education by pursing a master’s degree in Cybersecurity. Her goal is to pay it forward. “I want to educate women about the opportunities in STEM while motivating others to pursue their dreams” she said.

For more information on the Fall 2022 Commencement, visit here.