’19 class of Riverhawks set to graduate in May


Christina Browning

Nearly 2,300 Riverhawks will graduate on May 23.

Ashley Onwudiwe, Reporter

Approximately 2,282 students will graduate from AACC this spring, and 500 will participate in commencement on May 23.

This year, the school will award about 2,400 degrees and certificates at Live! Casino & Hotel in Arundel Mills instead of on campus.

“We’re expecting more graduates than last year,” AACC Registrar Nanci Beier said.

Last year, 2,006 students finished their degrees. The year before, 2,166 graduated, and in 2016, 2,148 students completed their programs, according to AACC’s website.

“Generally numbers jump around,” Angie Hamlet, an AACC public relations manager, said. “[The fluctuations] are normal.”

For the first time, AACC will split its commencement ceremonies into three separate events with three valedictorians. Students can attend any of the ceremonies.

Some students and professors said they feel the location might distract from the seriousness of the graduation ceremony.

Still, graduates said they are excited and motivated as they prepare for the future careers and academic experiences.

“I’m excited,” Rachel Kramer, a transfer studies student, said.

“I feel ready,” Olivia Walsh, a third-year baking and pastry student, said.

“I guess I’m glad that I’m done,” said Sean Nolan, a second-year engineering transfer student. “I’m done with this step in my life.”

Students said they are eager to start their own businesses or enroll in four-year universities after they graduate from AACC.

“I’m actually starting my own small business,” Walsh said. “I’m selling wholesale bread to a cafe for sandwiches, and then I do a lot of special events on the side.”

“I’m a yoga instructor,” Kramer said, “so I would like to go deeper into that.”

“I got accepted to [the University of Maryland Baltimore County] and Salisbury,” Dolan said, “but I plan to go to UMBC.”

The graduation ceremonies on May 23 will officially begin at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.