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Distinguished Graduate Program

This initiative spotlights each SAC program during our annual graduation ceremony by honoring one outstanding student from those programs, called the “Distinguished Graduate.” Students receive special recognition at the ceremony by wearing a purple cord signifying their Distinguished Graduate status. Their diplomas are also marked to show that they have achieved this honor.  

Students are required to apply through a process as outlined below and selected students must complete service projects for the department and college designed to promote graduation.

 Criteria for selecting the Distinguished Graduate (departments may add to these criteria):

     1) Student must have a minimum GPA of 3.2.

     2) Student must walk the graduation ceremony in May.

     3) Student must be prepared to participate in events to promote graduation. If the student is no longer on campus or in San Antonio, approved alternate activities can be completed upon selection.


Department’s choice must be: 

     1) A student meeting the criteria above with a major in the respective department.

     2) If a department has more than one degree or certificate program, they may have that many Distinguished Graduates.


 Application Process

 A student who meets the criteria must submit an application that includes:  

     1) An essay explaining how his/her experience at San Antonio College and within their major influenced/inspired the student's path to graduation.

     2) A signed statement indicating that he/she is willing to participate in service projects that promote graduation and an understanding that failure to do so may result in the rescindment of his/her award (page 3 of the paper application).

     3) A personal/academic biography that is 150-200 words. Please keep in mind when writing the biography that the biographies of the selected Distinguished Graduates will be published online. For examples, please see the links on the left hand side of this webpage.

     4) An inspirational quote including the name of the original author.

Faculty members or Chairs direct students towards applying, or students approach faculty and/or Chairs about becoming a candidate. Students must meet graduation requirements for fall 2015, spring 2016 or summer 2016 and must plan to work on service projects from late-February through mid-April of this academic year.  

Applications will be available online and in paper format beginning November 23, 2015. Paper applications can be downloaded online and found in FAC 214 or in the academic departments beginning on that date.  Online applications are available at

Students must submit applications by January 26, 2016 to FAC 221, not to the department. If a student applies online, he/she does not need to submit a paper application. Late submissions must contact the department to determine whether paper applications will still be accepted after that date.

Each department selects the winning candidate by February 3, 2016. Names should be submitted by email to the Student Success representative by that time. Late submissions may not be considered. All students will be notified of their selection or denial to the DG program by email if their application was submitted by the deadline to the Office of the Vice President for Student Success.

If an honoree does not complete their service commitment, the award will be rescinded by college administration, in consultation with the department chair. 


  Privileges of Honor

 As a Distinguished Graduate, students will:

     1) Receive a Graduation Cord;

     2) Have their names added to the Distinguished Graduate Department Plaque;

     3) Receive a formal certificate; 

     4) Receive a T-shirt; 

     5) Have their picture, biography, and inspirational quote featured on the SAC website;

     6) Have their picture featured in The Ranger; and

     7) Have a President's Reception in their honor. 

For more information about the Distinguished Graduate Program, students can contact their academic department or The Office of the Vice President for Student Success via email to Chaye Pena at