500-plus will Receive Degrees at 2018 Big Bend Commencement

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A newly minted Big Bend Community College graduate shows off her diploma at Friday's commencement.MOSES LAKE — As young as 17, and as old as 60, that is the age span of the more than 500 students who will receive degrees Friday evening at the 2018 Big Bend Community College Commencement Ceremony being held at Lions Field in Downtown Moses Lake.

The 538 members of the Class of 2018 have earned a total of 551 degrees and includes graduates from 43 cities and towns across the state of Washington, and one from Japan. Other states represented in the graduating class include California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah.

Also included are 115 Running Start students who have earned both a high school diploma and an associate degree during the last two years at Big Bend.

“For most of our students here at Big Bend, earning their degree was not a solo venture,” said BBCC Director of Communications Matt Killebrew. “Although this ceremony is centered on the graduates, a lot of the thanks and congratulations should also be extended to the families and friends of these students who have also sacrificed to make this day a reality.”

Grant County Superior Court Judge David Estudillo will address the 2018 class. Judge Estudillo grew up in Sunnyside and watched his parents rise from farm workers to small business owners all while raising 10 children. His parents impressed upon the children the need to work hard and take advantage of every possible educational opportunity.

“I am excited to celebrate Commencement with the 2018 graduates,” said Judge Estudillo. “The knowledge and experience they gained at Big Bend is the foundation of their future success.  I am honored for the opportunity to encourage the graduates to build on that foundation.”

Judge Estudillo graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Finance and then earned a UW Law Degree. He practiced law for 16 years before being appointed to the bench in 2015, becoming the only sitting judge of Latino descent in any state or municipal court in Eastern Washington.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.