Phoenix College recently honored its 100th graduating class during two on-campus milestone ceremonies.
Phoenix College (PC) conferred 3811 degrees and certificates, at two commencement ceremonies—on Thurs, May 12, and Fri, May 13. The event took place inside PC’s Hoy Stadium - Hogan Field.
Phoenix Junior College, as it was known in 1920, opened with an enrollment count of just 18 students. Two years later, on May 26, 1922, four men and one woman comprised PJC's first graduating class. The numbers quickly grew: twelve men and seven women crossed the graduation stage in 1923, as enrollment surpassed eighty students.
While there was a vast difference between the number of degrees awarded in 1922 and 2022, Phoenix College's first and 100th classes have experienced some uniquely similar circumstances. Both achieved success in the wake of a global pandemic, and witnessed vast technological change as students. For this year's grads, the transition from in-person to virtual learning embodied that experience. Celebrating with the Class of 2022 will be two recognized alumni, as well as: Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) Interim Chancellor Dr. Steven Gonzalez, MCCCD Governing Board Secretary Dr. Tom Nerini, Interim College President Dr. Clyne Namuo, as well as other College executive leaders, faculty and staff.
ZACHARY HALL, KEYNOTE Hall, ’07, is the author of Amazon bestselling book, Don’t Sleep on Planes, President of the State Forty-Eight Foundation, a member of the Grand Canyon University Honors College advisory committee, and is the Director of Business Development at AvAir, where he travels the world supporting airlines and their fleet of aircraft. Zach was born and raised in Phoenix, and is a first-generation college graduate. He is a proud supporter of Phoenix College and passionate about PC clubs and athletics. While at PC, he began a career in sports, which lead him to perform for Phoenix Suns in-game team. He went on to work for many national sports teams, including as Howler for the Arizona Coyotes and as Baxter the Bobcat for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
After attending Phoenix College, Zach transferred to Arizona State University to complete a Bachelor’s Degree, and later attended the University of Phoenix, obtaining a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Project Management. Zach is known as a consummate connector and shares his passion for community through fostering synergy within his network. He is proud to call himself a PC Bear.
ROBERT RITCHEY, STUDENT Ritchey is an Arizona native, growing up in the East Valley and attending school in Tempe and Mesa. Upon graduation from Phoenix College with an Associate in Arts and an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Paralegal Studies degree, he plans to continue his pre-law studies and eventually attend law school to become an attorney. Robert aspires to fight social injustice on behalf of friends, family and those of limited means.
JESSICA McDONALD, KEYNOTE McDonald, '09, was born in Phoenix, where she attended Cactus High School, playing basketball and running track. As a kid, Jessica’s grandma told her she couldn’t just sit on the couch—that she had to pick up a sport. Her brother played soccer, so she thought to herself, 'I guess I’ll play soccer, like Brandon.'
McDonald attended Phoenix College during her freshman and sophomore year of college where she played soccer, basketball and track and was a member of the honors program. She transferred to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and joined the North Carolina Tar Heels soccer team. In 2010, she became a professional soccer player, when she joined the Chicago Red Stars. Jessica has played professional soccer for the SC Herford, Melbourne Victory FC, the Seattle Reign, Portland Thorns, Houston Dash, North Carolina Courage, and currently plays for Racing Louisville, in Kentucky.
In 2019, McDonald was named to the United States Women’s World Cup Team, and she became a World Cup champion when the team won the Women’s World Cup Championship in France. She is also mother to ten-year-old Jeremiah and her son is a huge part of her motivation to chase her dreams. Jessica was featured in the HBO Documentary Film, “LFG,” about the struggle of the US Women’s National Soccer Team players to earn equal play to their male counterparts. The film tells the story of the 28 USWNT players (including Jessica) who sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for equal pay. Earlier this year, the suit was settled, and the US Soccer Federation agreed to pay men and women soccer players an equal rate. Jessica is a proud PC bear, and is deeply committed to lifting young athletes and advocating for equality.
RACHEL ARVIZU, STUDENT Arvizu will be conferred the Associate in Arts in Elementary Education degree. She is a lifelong Phoenician. Rachel has been unable to hear since birth, attending Phoenix Day School for the Deaf (PDSD) since the age of two and graduating in 2017. She was raised by her grandparents in their south Phoenix home and enjoys family time, traveling, camping, hiking, and playing volleyball. Rachel’s goal is to work with deaf children to build their self-confidence.
A Gift to the Class of 2022
Phoenix College alumni are making their mark on the world in countless ways, and PC looks forward to celebrating and following the success of the 100th graduating class. Participating graduates will receive a commemorative tassel and the History of Phoenix College Coffee Table Book, which is a vivid account of the College’s 100-year history.
Did You Miss the Ceremonies?
Watch the Videos Now!
Celebrate the graduates by streaming both the Thursday and Friday ceremonies.
Download the Graduation Program, in Adobe PDF format. Looking for a comprehensive list of graduates? A list will be published in late May, in the Commencement Area of the website. A link will be posted here, as well.
Records & Transcripts
Graduates who have inquiries about records and transcripts should stop by the Hannelly Enrollment Center, or visit the Enrollment Center Page. Looking to connect in-person, but can't make it to campus? Visit Hannelly's LIVE Services, where you can receive personal service through a Live Meeting, Chat, or Qless—our wait-free phone service.
Hannelly Enrollment Center is adjacent to the West Lot near Hogan Field - Hoy Stadium,
where the commencement ceremonies took place.
Details of the Thurs, May 12 Ceremony and Fri, May 13 Ceremony are published on their respective Event Pages.
FAQs, and other resources for graduating students, are available on the Commencement Area of the website.