The greatest reward for educators is to see their students walk across the stage and receive their degree at graduation. That’s exactly what hundreds of graduates did on Friday at the Galveston Island Convention Center at the Galveston College 2023 Commencement Ceremony.


“Commencement is the celebration of our students and their accomplishments, and it’s the big reward for us as a college and as educators,” said Galveston College President, W. Myles, Shelton, Ed.D. “This is why we do what we do. The mission of Galveston College is to create accessible learning opportunities to fulfill our students and community needs by providing high-quality educational programs and services. Helping get our students through these programs to completion and graduation is part of that mission.”


During GC’s 55th annual commencement ceremony, the college conferred 713 degrees and certificates to 586 students, which included 15 dual credit students from Ball High School, and graduated the first-ever cohort from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (BSN).


“I’m honored and excited to be a part of the inaugural BSN program and graduating class at Galveston College,” said GC BSN program graduate, Jenna Metzger. “I’m now better prepared to provide care and meet the demands in my role as a nurse. I hope to encourage others to continue their education. I learned so many valuable skills and knowledge through the BSN program at Galveston College that I’m using in my professional and personal daily life.”


This year’s commencement speakers featured GC Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society President, Miranda Donaldson, and Madison Holliday, who graduated Summa Cum Laude with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

Commencement speaker addresses those in attedenace of graduation.Two women in cap and gown participate in graduation ceremony.

Donaldson, who graduated with an Associate of Arts in General Studies, inspired the graduating class and the audience by sharing her story about how she overcame Lyme disease and the path that led her to Galveston College.

“On my journey as a college student, I have gained knowledge, broadened my horizons, faced obstacles and overcome challenges while constantly learning and growing,” said Donaldson, who will continue her education at GC in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. “Being a Galveston College student has provided me with a network of support, expanded my community and allowed me to meet fellow students and professors, who are always prepared to lend a helping hand and go above and beyond to serve their students.”

Holliday continued the ceremony by motivating the class of 2023 by sharing her journey of how she overcame unexpected obstacles and recognizing the challenges many students face when pursuing a higher education.

Women excitedly recieves diploma.Four graduates pose with frame.

“Life has a way of presenting us with unexpected challenges and our journey was no exception,” said Holliday. “During the course of my program, one student prevailed over cancer and another triumphed as a first-generation graduate, while I overcame unexpected obstacles. My daughters and I drove away from our home of 10 years only to land on my brother’s doorstep. I was broke, with no career, no home and no prospects for the future. I vowed I would never put myself or my kids in that situation again. This graduation won’t only change the trajectory of my life, but those of my kids.”

Four graduates in cap and gown pose for a selfie together.

Among GC’s graduating class were students from five different countries, seven states and 95 different Texas cities. GC’s oldest graduate was 70-years-old while the youngest was 16.



Galveston College was founded in 1967 and is a comprehensive community college providing the residents of Galveston Island and the surrounding region with academic, workforce development, continuing education and community service programs.