Distinguished Graduate to Highlight Educational Freedom at 2017 Commencement

Orlando, FL – On Sunday, May 7, more than 1,600 Valencia students will walk the stage, receiving their associate degrees as Valencia College celebrates its 48th spring commencement at the CFE Arena at University of Central Florida.

This year’s commencement address will be given by 20-year-old Rula Khalaf, who was named the 2016-2017 Distinguished Graduate by the Valencia Alumni Association.

Khalaf, a graduate of Timber Creek High School in Orlando, came to Valencia in 2015 just two years after her family moved to the United States from the Middle East.

A student at the Seneff Honors College, she will graduate with a 4.0 grade point average. Serving as chief of staff for East Campus Student Government Association and the president of the Future Medical Professionals Club, Khalaf has taken full advantage of educational opportunity which she says is not accessible to women in her homeland.

Although an expected 1,600 students are participating in commencement ceremonies, 7,916 students will be awarded degrees for the 2016-2017 academic year. Of those, 1,370 will be Associate in Science degrees and 6,500 will be Associate in Arts degrees.

Valencia holds two commencement ceremonies in the spring of each year. The first will be held at 10 a.m. and the second held at 2 p.m. The UCF CFE Arena is located at 12777 Gemini Boulevard North, Orlando, FL 32816

Both ceremonies will be livestreamed at valenciacollege.edu/graduation/live.cfm


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