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VC graduation: Who inspired you? (video)

By Carolina Astrain
May 11, 2013 at 12:11 a.m.
Updated May 12, 2013 at 12:12 a.m.

Victoria College graduate Brian Etlinger shakes the hand of College President Thomas Butler before receiving his diploma for an associate degree in science during the graduation ceremony at the Victoria Fine Arts building.

Victoria College Graduation

There was a total of 259 VC students who graduated in the 2013 spring semester. About 200 students participated in the commencement ceremony Saturday.

SOURCE: Victoria College

The seats at the VISD Fine Arts Center were packed as Victoria College graduates walked into the auditorium to the beat of "Pomp and Circumstance."

Their faces beamed with pride as their family members watched them walk across the stage in their black commencement gowns.

U.S. military veteran Robert Castaneda, 43, of Cuero, said he decided to enroll at VC after his oldest son started college.

"I wanted to better myself," Castaneda said. "My kids were my main motivation."

Rosa Esono-Nse, 25, of Equatorial Guinea, credited her parents who sent her overseas to attend Victoria College.

"Since I was little, they've pushed me hard to do better for myself because they're not going to be here forever," Esono-Nse said.

Castaneda graduated with an associate degree in computer networking and has plans to transfer to the University of Houston-Victoria to earn his bachelor's degree.

After earning her Associate of Science degree from VC, Esono-Nse said she already has started her undergraduate classes at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

In the auditorium lobby, Debra Herman was recovering from the eight-hour drive from Oklahoma to Texas she endured Friday night to make it to her 27-year-old daughter's graduation.

Next to her was her 6-year-old granddaughter, Penelope Horner, who was anxiously waiting to see her mother walk across the stage.

"We're so proud of her," Herman said. "I wouldn't have missed this for the world."

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