SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — Santa Monica graduates received their diplomas just days after a gunman unleashed a deadly shooting rampage on campus.
The ceremony paid tribute to the victims who had close ties with the school, first by declaring a moment of silence, then by somber words from all who addressed the 2013 graduating class.
“We have come together as a community to heal and to pay homage to the victims,” College President Dr. Chui L. Tsang said. “We are also showing our love and support by donating funds that have been set up by a foundation in memory of Carlos Franco’s family and Margarita Gomez.”
Other speakers focused on the community’s reaction to the tragedy.
“Perhaps the greatest legacy of all, from these victims, from this great tragedy, is the unity that it has brought us,” Santa Monica Catholic Church’s Monsignor Lloyd Torgerson said.
The commencement speech was given by USC President Max Nikias.
“We honor the memory of those who lost their lives so tragically best by committing ourselves to building a better city and a better age, in which our children are safe to grow, to discover, to love, and to reach their full potential” Nikias said.