Pima Community College graduation ceremony returns to TCC Arena

Students attend at graduation ceremony.
Students attend at graduation ceremony.(Source: Jessie Jacobson @ Flickr / CC BY 2.0 via MGN)
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 3:02 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Pima Community College returns to the Tucson Convention Center Arena for its 2023 Graduation Ceremony on May 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center Arena, 260 S. Church Ave.

Pima has 3,249 candidates for graduation and expects to award 4,520 degrees and certificates to these students.

This year’s commencement speaker is Gabriela Fragozo, a Tucson native who is graduating with an Arizona General Education Curriculum Certification - Science (AGEC-S) and plans to major in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science at the University of Arizona this fall.

“I think I was meant to be at Pima,” says the 2021 Presidio School graduate who worked two jobs at fast food restaurants before getting hired as a Pima tutor at Downtown Campus. She wants to study cerebral spinal fluid, and says she’s already writing her research proposal for UA.

The class also includes a recipient of a prestigious national Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. Teresa Billick, an Honors student who will graduate with an AGEC-S, is in the Pima-UAZ STEM Bridge Program. She is one of 60 students in the country awarded this scholarship. Pima’s last JKC scholar was Rodrigo Salcido of Douglas in 2016.

The last time Pima held its graduation at TCC Arena was in 2019. It held virtual ceremonies in 2020 and 2021, then had an outdoor event at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in 2022.

The five Pima associate degree programs with the most graduation candidates this year are:

●       629 Liberal Arts (Associate of Arts)

●       175 Science (Associate of Science)

●       161 Business Administration (Associate of Business

●       153 Nursing (Associate of Applied Science)

●       75 EMT Paramedic (Associate of Applied Science)


A total of 3,249 Pima Community College students have graduated or are candidates for graduation at the May ceremony.

The oldest graduate is 76 years of age and earned a Certificate in Advanced Culinary Arts in August 2022. The youngest is expected to earn the Arizona General Education Curriculum Certification (AGEC-A) at the age of 16 in Spring 2023.

The class has 1,700 female candidates and 1,498 male candidates. (Some students do not indicate a gender on their graduation application.) The College expects to award 4,520 degrees and certificates to these students. Many Pima students earn more than one certificate and/or degree.

A total of 183 graduation candidates, or 9.9% of the 1,848 associate degree candidates, have a grade point average of 3.90 or greater and meet the requirements for graduation with the highest honors.

Among the College’s associate degree programs, these have the highest number of graduation candidates*:

  • 629 Liberal Arts (AA)
  • 175 Science (AS)
  • 161 Business Administration (AB)
  • 153 Nursing (AAS)
  • 75 EMT Paramedic (AAS)
  • 64 Aviation Technology (AAS)
  • 55 General Studies (AGS)
  • 38 Business (AAS)
  • 32 Clinical Research Coordinator
  • 32 Health Information Technology (AAS)
  • 30 Visual and Performing Arts (AFA)
  • 29 Dental Hygiene (AAS)
  • 29 Veterinary Technician (AAS)
  • 28 Cyber Security
  • 25 Digital Film Arts and Animation
  • 24 Networking/Cyber Defense
  • 21 Digital Arts (AAS)
  • 21 Paralegal (AAS)
  • 20 Early Childhood Studies (AAS)

The degrees and certificates to be awarded are:

  • 1,386 Certificates
  • 816 Associate of Applied Science
  • 629 Associate of Arts
  • 175 Associate of Science
  • 161 Associate of Business
  • 142 Post-Degree Certificate
  • 55 Associate of General Studies
  • 30 Associate of Fine Arts
  • 1,126 Arizona General Education Curriculum certifications
  • AA - Associate of Arts; AFA - Associate of Fine Arts; AGS - Associate of General Studies; AAS - Associate of Applied Science

*All other degree programs within the College are graduating 19 or fewer students with associate degrees.

The ethnic composition of the graduating class is as follows:

  • 46 American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 104 Asian
  • 131 Black or African American
  • 1,425 Hispanic/Latino
  • 4 Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 213 Race and Ethnicity Unknown
  • 74 Two or More Races
  • 1,272 White

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