Valencia College Awards More Than 1,500 Degrees at December Commencement

Orlando, FL – On Tuesday, Dec. 12, more than 1,500 Valencia College students received their associate and bachelor’s degrees at Valencia College’s fall commencement ceremonies at the University of Central Florida’s Addition Financial Arena.

Valencia College held two ceremonies; one at 1 p.m. and another at 5 p.m.

This year’s commencement address was given by Andrea “Andy” Silva, who received the 2023 Summer-Fall Distinguished Graduate Award from the Valencia College Alumni Association.

Silva, whose family fled political persecution in Venezuela, moved to the United States when she was 13. Like many immigrant families, her family had no money to pay for her to attend college, but Silva found a way. At Valencia College, she became a member of the Seneff Honors College, and excelled in both the classroom and student government. Today, she’s studying psychology at UCF as a member of the Burnett Honors College.

At the December commencement ceremonies, Valencia College also awarded two honorary degrees; one to current trustee and Osceola County businesswoman Daisy Lopez Cid, and a posthumous degree to Guillermo Hansen, the late publisher of El Osceola Star who served as a trustee at Valencia College for 12 years.

Hansen’s wife, Yolanda, and his children accepted the award from Valencia College President Kathleen Plinske.

“Guillermo was a tireless advocate for Valencia College and for our students,” Plinske said. “He was a loyal advocate and his excitement in seeing our students succeed was so very genuine and contagious to all around him. Whether representing his newspaper, Osceola County or Valencia College, his passion, dedication, and generosity left an indelible mark on all he touched.”

A recorded version of the ceremonies will be available on Dec. 22 at this website: