Laney College

Eagle Flies: 2010 Commencement

Eagle Flies: 2010 Commencement

June 17, 2010

Message from President Elñora Tena Webb, Ph. D.

Laney Graduates Reaffirming Academic Dreams

These are fascinating and exhilarating times for the Class of 2010.

About 1,000 families and friends honored the Laney graduates at a festive commencement event at the historic Fox Theater recently.  More than 600 women and men received associate degrees in 44 disciples and certificates of competition in 35 professions.

Keynote speaker Paul Brest, president and acting director of the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, encouraged the Laney grads to “dream big” as they develop their future goals.

Reading from a Langston Hughes poem, Associated Students of Laney College President Ju Hong reminded us the power of dreams.  “Hold fast to your dreams.  Affirm and reaffirm your dreams,” he said.

In his address, Timothy Spengler described how the Career & Technical program played a pivotal role in his journey from a high-school-dropout to the 2010 Valedictorian.  “I believe that amazing things are possible,” Spengler added.

For 42 years, Ronald Moore has advised Peralta students on strategies to gain admission to four-year institutions as well as fulfill associate degree and certificate program requirements.  For his devotion to the students and commitment to the College, Mr. Moore was bestowed the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award. This veteran counselor found his “greatest sense of fulfillment” in helping students actualize their dreams.

“Believe in yourself” was the advice delivered through the angelic voice of Dr. Karolyn van Putten, District Academic Senate and Faculty Senate President. She was accompanied by Professor Lucy Kinchen on piano.

This memorable commencement ceremony was the accumulative efforts of the Graduation Committee, chaired by Dean Tina Vasconcellos. My deepest appreciation goes to Dr. Vasconcellos and all the committee members: Algeria Kirven, Anya Pekarczyk, Becky Hsieh, Brandi Smith, Cassandra Upshaw, Debra Payton, Eliza Y Chan, Jean Carey, and Lisa Aaron.  Many thanks to Christy  Blue, Maisha Jameson, Lisa Watkins-Tanner, Rae Hendriksz, Kanika Parris, Fang J. Huang, Darlene Cruz, Chi Au, David Reed, Student Ambassadors, Student Athletics and all the staff, faculty members, and administrators who contributed to the success of the event.

Lifetime Achievement Award

For 42 years, Ronald Moore has advised Peralta students on strategies to gain admission to four-year institutions as well as fulfill associate degree and certificate program requirements. His efforts enabled many students to fulfill their academic and professional dreams.  Some of these Peralta alumni, who were lucky enough to have been advised and mentored by Ronald, have returned as employees — further shaping the lives of the next generation of Laney students.  Read more


At the height of the boom, Timothy Spengler was a mid-level project manager of a video game company.  His vision of hi-tech fortune appeared as clear as the waters of the Redwood Shores.  This ended abruptly when he was laid off amidst the subsequent implosion.  Timothy tried his hands at various ventures, including operating a handyman business.  He also enrolled, and excelled, in a State-funded Regional Occupational Program (ROP) in Fremont. As a matter of fact, it was when Laney College Environmental Control Technology (ECT) Department Chair Nick Kyriakopedi visited the ROP class, that Timothy immediately enrolled in the Laney Career & Technical courses. Read more


“Let your passion guide you. Dream as if you live forever. Live as if you’ll die today,” advised Thy Pham, a young and talented international student. Even as a young girl, Thy dreamed big. Her dreams included: exploring culture and history around the globe, acquiring a medical degree from a prestigious university, and providing health care services to residents in Phan Thiet, Vietnam. These dreams almost died when her father passed away.  Read more

Student President, Ju Hong

Today is your day. It’s all about you. Today is time for celebration and great happiness. Despite the budget crisis, you have overcome obstacles and challenges through your hard work and dedication. You firmly held onto your dreams; and you have finally reached your destinations. You made all of us proud. Congratulations! As you walk this remarkable journey and begin a new chapter, remember what you have learned from Laney College and reaffirm your dreams once more.  Read more

Commencement Speaker

Paul Brest is the President of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, California.  Mr. Brest received an A.B. from Swarthmore College in 1962 and an LL.B from Harvard Law School in 1965.  Read more

Click links to view commencement photos and videos on PSPAN.TV.