Education

Cuesta graduates include a 77-year-old and 14 students with 4.0 grades

Cuesta College celebrates 1,069 graduates from the Class of 2019

Cuesta College saluted the largest number of graduation particpants in the history of the school at its commencement ceremony on Friday, May 24, 2019, in San Luis Obispo, said Superintendent/President Jill Stearns.
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Cuesta College saluted the largest number of graduation particpants in the history of the school at its commencement ceremony on Friday, May 24, 2019, in San Luis Obispo, said Superintendent/President Jill Stearns.

Cuesta College graduated more than 1,000 students on Friday — including its oldest at 77 years of age.

The college awarded 1,423 degrees to 1,060 students, college spokesman Ritchie Bermudez said. The college’s 54th commencement took place in the Gilbert H. Stork Gymnasium on campus.

Of the graduates, 499 students came from local high schools, including 217 Promise students — the largest number of graduating Promise recipients to date.

Promise is a scholarship program available to all San Luis Obispo County high school graduates, offering tuition waivers to all local graduates — who come straight to Cuesta following their graduation — for two years.

“It is exciting that the largest number of Promise Scholarship recipients to date will receive degrees on Friday,” said Cuesta College Superintendent/President Jill Stearns, in a statement. “It is surprising how quickly my first year at Cuesta College has reached commencement day. I look forward to celebrating the achievement of our graduates. They are well-poised for success as they transfer and launch their careers.”

Of the graduates, 534 received associate of arts degrees, 316 associate of sciences degrees, and 573 transfer degrees.

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Hilary Carolina Morales, Victoria White and Aileen Deloya get ready to enter gym for diplomas at 2019 Cuesta graduation. Cuesta College graduated 1,069 students on Friday, including 239 graduates who earned honors or high honors; of those 14 earned a perfect 4.0 graduate point average. David Middlecamp 5-24-2019 David Middlecamp dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The graduates ranged in age from 17 to 77.

And 239 graduates earned honors or high honors by achieving a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, including 14 who earned a 4.0 GPA, a perfect mark.

The oldest nursing graduate, Marti Mueller, will turn 62 in June and has 8 children and 24 grandchildren, with another on the way, according to Cuesta. She went back to school after 35 years to begin the prerequisites for the nursing program in 2013; she owned a balloon business while being a stay-at-home mom and raising her family.

The campus doesn’t name a valedictorian or salutatorian.

Many of its graduates continue on to universities, especially California State University campuses, studying in areas like agriculture business, communication studies, early childhood education, psychology, and more, Cuesta said.

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