Despite the ongoing fight over accreditation and the uncertainty over the future of the school, by some measures, at least, City College of San Francisco has much to celebrate as this academic year comes to a close.
More than 600 graduates, a record number of graduates participating in the ceremony, will receive diplomas at City College of San Francisco's 79th commencement ceremony Friday, a day after the school's third annual Lavender Graduation celebrating the LGBT community.
This past school year, CCSF has graduated 2,456 students — an all-time high for the institution — including the summer, fall and spring semesters, said CCSF spokesman Jeff Hamilton.
Filmmaker and social activist Dustin Lance Black, who won an Academy Award for best original screenplay for “Milk,” will be the commencement speaker at Friday's graduation, scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Ram Football Stadium.
Black will speak before the graduates and more than 4,000 parents, family and friends expected to attend.
“As a proud alum of a California community college, I understand the power and potential of a community college education,” Black said in a statement. “I look forward to sending the 2014 graduating class off into their own bright tomorrows.”
The Lavender Graduation & Awards Ceremony, held Thursday on the late Supervisor Harvey Milk's birthday, will honor local leaders who have supported equality in addition to handing out certificates to about 15 queer and allied students.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera and his legal team, which fought for marriage equality, as well as MK Nobilette, a San Francisco singer, reportedly the first lesbian to come out prior to competing on “American Idol,” are among those who will be honored at the Lavender event Thursday.
“It's another example of how we value diversity, and we regard diversity as a source of strength,” said Hamilton of the Lavender Graduation, where Supervisor David Campos is scheduled to be the keynote speaker.
“This will be historic in that we are honoring pioneers for doing things that have never been done before,” said Trey Allen, the event's producer.
The Lavender Graduation will begin at 5 p.m. at the Diego Rivera Theater.