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BCC’s Last Graduating Class Readies for May Commencement

Graduation ceremony details and directions to the King Center venue.

May 1, 2013 – About 1,900 students will be eligible to graduate May 16 during Brevard Community College’s spring commencement at the King Center for the Performing Arts on the Melbourne Campus.

The students will comprise BCC’s last graduating class as the institution becomes Eastern Florida State College on July 1 to reflect its expanding mission to start offering four-year Bachelor’s Degrees in August.

There will be two ceremonies: The first at noon with graduates from the Melbourne and Palm Bay campuses, and another at 4 p.m. with graduates from the Titusville and Cocoa campuses.

The noon ceremony will feature BCC President, Dr. Jim Richey, honoring BCC’s legacy and recognizing three previous presidents who played important roles in the college’s history.

They are Dr. Maxwell King, Dr. Mike Kaliszeski and Dr. Jim Drake.

Both ceremonies will be streamed live via webcast starting at noon on the college website at and will be re-broadcast on WBCC-TV on Tuesday, May 28, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 2 at noon. WBCC can be viewed over-the-air on channel 68.1 and on Bright House cable channels 9, 455 and 1068.

The next chapter in the college’s history will build on its reputation for excellence and student success that dates to its founding 53-years ago.

The college opened as Brevard Junior College in 1960 in the old Cocoa High School building. A separate Carver Junior College for African-American students opened the same year.

The schools merged in 1963 and moved to the present location of the Cocoa Campus along Clear Lake. The college was renamed Brevard Community College in 1970 when the state of Florida created a system of two-year colleges.

Since its inception, the college has served more than a half-million students and conferred nearly 89,000 degrees, including those that will be awarded May 16.

About 35,000 students take courses annually on the Titusville, Cocoa, Melbourne and Palm Bay campuses, and online.

BCC is consistently ranked as one of the leading community colleges in Florida and the United States, and ranks among the top graduation rates in the 28-member Florida College System.

Its change to Eastern Florida State College is the result of extensive outreach to the Space Coast community that found strong support from students and businesses to offer Bachelor’s Degrees to achieve two important goals: Provide students with more opportunities for in-demand jobs upon graduation, and provide local and regional business and industry with the 21st century workforce they need to prosper.

The college plans to offer 10 Bachelor Degree tracks in business management, health care and information technologies. The first two programs will begin in August and another eight are scheduled to start in August 2014.

The college will also continue to offer its traditional curriculum of more than 100 Associate Degrees and certificate programs, including several new associate's degree programs starting this year and in 2014.

College leaders believe the new four-year degrees also will advance the institution’s role as a key asset in spurring economic growth, with BCC now contributing nearly $1.1 billion annually to the Brevard and Central Florida economies.