More than 800 Graduates Participate in CNM’s Graduation Ceremony

The graduates were cheered on by friends and family during a ceremony at Tingley Coliseum on Saturday
May 10, 2022

For the first time since 2019, CNM graduates finally got the chance to walk across the stage during an in-person ceremony at Tingley Coliseum. More than 830 graduates signed up to participate in the event, which was held on Saturday.

Thousands of people filled the arena to cheer on the graduates, along with many CNM staff and faculty who were there to show their support. CNM degree or certificate students, as well as high school equivalency diploma (HSE) recipients, and graduates of the College and Career High School (CCHS) on CNM’s Main Campus, were all honored at the event.

It was an especially happy occasion for the mother-daughter duo of Cindy and Apryl Griswold, who graduated together on what just happened to be the day before Mother’s Day. At first, Cindy says she only planned on taking a few classes at CNM. However, she enjoyed her courses so much that she ended up getting her associate degree in Early Childhood Education.

Cindy’s daughter Apryl graduated with an associate degree in Liberal Arts and plans to earn a second associate degree in Psychology before transferring to UNM. Both of them cited CNM’s small classes and individualized attention as key to helping them achieve their educational goals. They also say that being able to graduate together made the whole experience extra special.

“We never imagined that we would be graduating at the same time because our schedules and classes were totally different, but then everything just lined up,” Cindy says.


Cindy and Apryl Griswold

This year’s keynote speaker was CNM President Tracy Hartzler. In her address, President Hartzler expressed how proud she was of all the graduates and told them she was excited to see how they will use their skills and knowledge to make our community a better place. She also thanked the graduates for their resilience during these last two years, and for trusting CNM to keep them and their families safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ceremony’s student speaker was Christopher Rodriguez Vila, a graduate of CNM’s Welding program. Christopher was part of the team that recently won gold at the SkillsUSA New Mexico Competition in the Welding Fabrication Category and will be competing at the SkillsUSA National Competition this summer in Atlanta. He’s also a winner of the Ron Hackney Scholarship Prize and hopes to use his welding skills to become an entrepreneur.

After the graduation ceremony, Cindy and Apryl said they were looking forward to celebrating with friends and family, as well as taking a much-deserved break before heading back to school to continue their education.

“Our family saw the struggles, the lack of sleep, the grumpiness, and through it all they were very nice and very supportive, and that’s something that we have to celebrate because it’s our victory but they’re also part of it,” Cindy says.    

Scroll below for a full gallery of photos from graduation. You can also watch the entire Graduation Ceremony here.