Graduate Spotlights

About-to-be graduates walk in a single file procession to the Commencement tent in 2022.


Matias Alvarado ’22 holds up his diploma, surrounded by family at CMC's 2022 Commencement.
The Alvarados

Long-Awaited Return to CMC

When Matias Alvarado ’22 left with his fellow CMCers in March 2020, little did he know that his next time on campus would be for commencement ceremonies. Alvarado, who completed the 3+2 joint degree program in Economics and Engineering at both CMC and Columbia University, said it was surreal, but extremely special to be back on campus.

“We’ve had a crazy couple of years,” Alvarado said. “It feels really great to be back at CMC and experience graduation with all of my friends. The joint degree program is a hidden gem and provided some great experiences.”

Alvarado is now looking forward to his job in New York City working in global supply for Estee Lauder.

Alvarado’s parents were bursting with pride on Saturday along with his grandparents and brother.

“He’s been through so much,” said Sonny Alvarado, Matias’ mother. “It's wonderful to see how he’s connected so deeply to lifelong friends. It makes my heart happy.”


Karina Ramirez ’22 with her parents just outside the giant white tent on CMC's 2022 Commencement.
The Ramirezes

A 35-person cheering section

When Karina Ramirez ’22 accepted her diploma from President Hiram E. Chodosh during CMC’s 2022 Commencement ceremony, a chorus of 35 family members and friends in the audience cheered her on.

Afterwards, Karina’s mother, Dora del Real P’22 said, “We are so excited to be part of this ceremony! Karina is a first-generation college graduate, so this feels really meaningful for us.”

Prior to graduating as an Economics and Psychology major from CMC, Ramirez was an Earl Woods scholar, a program for high-achieving high school students who demonstrate financial need, show a commitment to community service, and have plans to pursue higher education.

At CMC, Ramirez paid that experience forward, working in the Office of Admission to support students and families navigating higher education.

Now Ramirez, who grew up in Anaheim, heads to New York, where she’s accepted a position as Recruiting Coordinator for AlphaSights, grateful for the love and support from her family.


Anna Green ’21 stands with her parents at CMC's 2022 Commencement.
The Greens

A wistful feeling

Joel Green P’21 admitted to feeling “wistful” at the pre-Commencement reception held in Gann Quadrangle on the evening before CMC’s graduation ceremony. “So it begins, and so it ends,” Green recalled thinking to himself as he exited the freeway at Indian Hill, just as he did when dropping off daughter Anna ’21 for her first year at CMC.

“It’s a sweet pleasure to visit CMC and share this amazing day,” he said.

A Government and Gender Studies major, Anna made the most of her time at CMC, taking part in the 2020 Summer Research Program; serving as co-director of student-run podcast, Free Food for Thought; and spending her final semester at CMC as an RA in the senior apartments. In addition, she won the Roland Prize for Best Thesis in Public Administration.

Anna Green chose to join the Commencement ceremonies in 2022, having finished up CMC in December 2021 after taking some time off during the pandemic, and returning home to Connecticut.

Now teaching sixth-grade social studies in San Francisco, Anna Green joined her parents and friends in person for Commencement 2022 because “I couldn’t resist being part of this celebration,” she said with a smile.


Calvin Koo ’22 stands surrounded by his family out on the field during CMC's 2022 Commencement.
The Koos

Family affair

CMC’s Commencement ceremony was also a family reunion for Calvin Koo ’22, an Economics and Asian Studies major.

His father flew in from Korea the day before after a three-year absence from his wife, son and daughter. “I have been stationed in Korea and the pandemic made it very difficult to get home. I wasn’t going to miss this day, though,” said Steve Koo.

Koo, who plans to work as a software engineer, said he is grateful to celebrate with his family and introduce them to his classmates.

His best memory of CMC is the lifelong friends he made and one-on-one contact with his professors. “I’m sad to leave because this is such a special place. I know I will be in contact with everyone which is a great feeling. It has been an incredible experience.”


Sydney Ross '22 stands between her parents with her diploma in hand at CMC's 2022 Commencement.
The Rosses

Family ties

As Sydney Ross ’22 surveyed the crowd of families gathered for the post-Commencement reception on Pritzlaff field, she said: “I’ve not seen some of these people since Orientation!”

When members of CMC’s community were adjusting to life during the pandemic, Ross moved home to Long Beach, where she sheltered in place with her brother, and mother, Onica P’22.

“I appreciated the bond we had while we were together during COVID,” Onica recalled. “We found some good in it.”

Nevertheless, Onica relished the in-person ceremony on campus, celebrating Sydney’s graduation with a biology degree, sharing the jubilant moment with 15 family members and friends. “I loved the setting and the speeches,” Onica said. “I felt so empowered listening to [Commencement speaker] Danielle Wood!”


Max Proctor ’22 and his mother stand behind his seated grandmother at CMC's 2022 Commencement.
The Proctors

Appreciating his CMC experience

Surrounded by his parents and grandmother the evening before he would officially graduate from CMC, Max Proctor ’22 shared how much he treasured having his family join him from across the country for the in-person Commencement ceremony.

“Having my grandmother here is very important,” he said. “It feels very special.”

A Biology major at CMC, Proctor focused on ecology, earning his department’s “Best Senior Thesis” award for his work assessing how native bee communities were impacted as a result of landscaping trends during the 2010s.

While at CMC, Proctor also demonstrated his musical talent, performing guitar with sister Lena ’21 at CMC and Pitzer events.

Now, he heads to Wichita State University to pursue his childhood dream of studying dung beetle communities, while working toward his master’s degree in biological sciences.

“Looking back,” Proctor said, “I’m appreciating my time at CMC even more than when I started here. I’m excited to be graduating in-person tomorrow.”


Harper Rubin ’22 arm in arms with his family on Parents Field for CMC's 2022 Commencement.
The Rubins

A beautiful mind and soul

As he posed for celebratory photos with family after CMC’s 2022 Commencement ceremony, Harper Rubin ’22 briefly paused to reflect.

“I’m thinking about all the ways I’ve grown since my first year at CMC,” said Rubin, who majored in Philosophy and Public Affairs and was a standout player for the CMS men’s soccer team.

His mother, Christina P’22, agreed. “It’s been a wonderful place for him. I remember how impressed I was when we dropped him off here for his first year. Students would shake hands with us and introduce themselves. I know they are all going to have extraordinary futures!”

Rubin’s grandmother, Mary Ellen Ashley Rubin GP’22 said she wouldn’t have missed his graduation from CMC for the world. “He’s a gorgeous human being. I’m so proud of him for his beautiful mind and soul. Plus, he’s movie-star handsome!” she said, beaming with joy.


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