De Anza College Graduation 2023

This email was sent to all students who were registered in spring 2023

June 27, 2023

Meet the President's Award Recipients

Today we’re announcing this year's recipients of the President’s Award scholarships for students who have demonstrated perseverance in overcoming adversity and achieving their academic goals. Thomas Jia and Amanda Tackwell will be honored at the collegewide graduation ceremony this Saturday, July 1.

We'll be profiling more students who are receiving major graduation awards this week. You'll find all the stories, photos and details about this year's celebration at – and watch for a special Graduation Slideshow to be posted later this week.

Thomas Jia

Thomas JiaThomas Jia went through some rocky times as a teen and young adult. But the 22-year-old is graduating from De Anza this year and heading to the University of California, Berkeley, to study economics this fall.

Jia credits the Guardian Scholars program at De Anza with providing needed resources and support. The program assists students who are current or former foster youth.

Flora Payne, the Guardian Scholars counselor, “encouraged me to not limit my options,” Jia said.

More About Thomas 

Amanda Tackwell

Amanda TackwellShortly before he died in 2020, Amanda Tackwell’s father told her that he dreamed she was in college. She had spent the last two decades working – as a waitress, a caregiver for her sick father and a single mom to a young daughter with autism spectrum disorder.

Tackwell, 37, is graduating with an associate degree in Cybersecurity and transferring to a bachelor’s degree program in Information Science and Data Analytics at San José State University.

Coming to De Anza “changed my life forever,” said Tackwell, who was drawn to her new career field because it involves teamwork and intellectual challenge.

More About Amanda    

Graduation Tips and Updates

If you're planning to graduate this year:

  • You can still shop in person through Thursday for graduation caps and gowns at the campus Bookstore in the RSS Building. (If you already placed an online order for home delivery, you should have received a tracking number that you can use to find out when it will arrive. If you placed an order for pickup at the Bookstore, you should receive an email when it’s ready.)
  • You must file for your degree by Friday, June 30, to receive your degree for spring quarter. The deadline has passed to have your name included in the printed program.
  • Everyone is welcome to post digital Congrats Cards for their favorite grads, or the entire Class of 2023, any time through Graduation Day.

Commencement Date and Location 

RoaryThis year’s ceremony will be held in a new location – the Santa Clara Convention Center – and will begin at 4 p.m. sharp on Saturday, July 1.

  • Free parking is available in the garage behind the convention center: Enter from Great America Parkway, using the driveway across from Bunker Hill Lane.
  • Grads and their guests should plan to arrive early – the doors will open at 2 p.m. – to allow time to park and get ready. Grads will line up in Hall A, while family members and other guests can proceed to Halls B and D, where there will be open seating.
  • After the ceremony, you'll be able to take photos with fun props – including the college mascot, Roary the Mountain Lion, making their first-ever public appearance!
  • Find more information about how to get ready for the ceremony at

Commencement Livestream

If you have family members or friends who can’t make it to the ceremony, they can still watch the commencement livestream with captions, beginning at 4 p.m. on July 1, at

Disability-Related Accommodations

Sign language interpreters will be present. If you need disability accommodations, please contact

Note: For general questions not related to disability accommodations, send an email to

Congratulations to all our graduates!

Best wishes,
De Anza College

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