Sierra College commencement | ‘Don’t forget this place’ | SierraSun.com

Sierra College commencement | ‘Don’t forget this place’

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun
Jason Shueh/Sierra Sun Sierra College graduates watch their fellow students receive diplomas on Thursday at the college's Truckee campus. The 2011 Truckee class is composed of three certificate recipients and 23 graduates.
ALL |

TRUCKEE, Calif. – Parents packed in, heads pointed and eyes watched intently as the dean commended and challenged her Sierra College graduates and certificate recipients to use their newfound knowledge to pursue their life goals.

“In the end, it’s only you who know what your life path is going to be,” said Kim Bateman, dean of the college’s Truckee branch, during Thursday’s commencement ceremony.

In her Dean’s Address, Bateman told the 2011 class – consisting of three certificate recipients and 23 graduating students – to start life knowing what they truly love and to let that passion be a guide to them in future years.

Bateman added, as a last tidbit of advice, for the class to think of their diplomas and certificates as having invisible ink on the back with the words “You are brilliant and the earth is hiring.”

Keaton Cooley-Rieders, a 4.0 student graduating with an associate arts degree in liberal arts, gave the student address during Thursday’s ceremony.

Cooley-Rieders began with a humorous anecdote about a post he placed on Facebook asking friends how peanut butter companies were able to put super chunky peanut butter into containers – it being very sticky.

To Cooley-Rieder’s surprise, he said teachers at the campus had responded to his post – this, he related, was proof of how close SC’s student-teacher connection has become in even the simplest of things.

“The teachers here truly care about their students,” Cooley-Rieders said. “Don’t forget this place, the place where you started.”

Among the students – some who received multiple associates – three graduated in business administration, eight in liberal arts, four in social behavioral science, eight in natural science, three in biological science, one in arts and cultures, one in accounting and one in administration of justice.