Joe Rasor, Chairman of San Juan College Board of Trustees gives opening remarks at the 2023 Graduation!

Top of the clocktower against a bright blue sky.

Joe-Rasor-300-x-300As I sit here enjoying the typical New Mexico spring weather – sunshine, clouds, rain and snow all within a matter of minutes, I ask myself, “Does it get any better than this?” We have weathered the pandemic and have come out the other side a little battered and bruised but we have survived and are moving forward once again.

I was recently reading an article by the Associated Press regarding how many students are failing to succeed in community colleges. The article goes on to blame the colleges for lack of support and allowing students to wander the halls aimlessly trying to find help for financial aid and class enrollment, as well as other claims on how community colleges are failing their students. As I read the article, I kept saying to myself and to my wife that the article was very upsetting because they were painting with a very broad brush. It was definitely not true about San Juan College. We try to go out of our way to help students in every way possible.

Many of our students have transformed their lives by attending SJC. To list these successes would take more room than what has been allotted to me. But soon, you, the graduates of 2023, will take your rightful place in your chosen profession. Learning does not end here, you will continue to learn and grow as you move forward from graduation.

As a case in point, I want to tell you about one family here in San Juan County. This family exemplifies the work ethic of our students and their ability to succeed and prosper. This is about a brother and sister who attended SJC and went on to obtain higher degrees and are an asset to Farmington and SJC. Sara Hyde is a University of New Mexico (UNM) graduate that has shown herself to be an exemplary writer while earning her Bachelor’s degree in Business. She recently had an article published on “Voting rights and the battle for Latinos and Latinas” in UNM’s new English book. She started her own business here in town in 2016 and completed her degree while going to school and working.

Her brother has continued his higher education at New Mexico Tech. He is currently working towards a master’s and Ph.D. It is with pride that I claim to know this family for their work ethic and willingness to continue their education.

My final point is, this family’s work ethic and successes are but a reflection of the personal drive and educational successes exemplified by our students and families of San Juan County. I applaud our employees’ and students’ continued efforts that make San Juan College the success it is.

Congratulations Graduates!!! Have a safe and happy summer.

Joe Rasor,
Chairman of San Juan College Board of Trustees