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STC Honors Late Students with Posthumous Degrees

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Thomas Esparza (Left) and Gilbert Ortiz Right will Be honored with their posthumous degrees. STC Images
Thomas Esparza (Left) and Gilbert Ortiz Right will Be honored with their posthumous degrees. STC Images
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South Texas College hosted its fall 2023 commencement ceremonies Saturday, December 9 at Bert Ogden Arena. 

Nearly 3,000 students received certificates or associate degrees during the ceremonies; including two posthumous degrees that were presented to the family members of two late students. 

The first posthumous degree was awarded at 9 a.m. to the son of Gilbert Ortiz. Ortiz, 45, was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer and Information Technologies. He was three classes shy of completing his degree when he lost his battle to testicular cancer. Ortiz’s family will be available for interviews.

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The second posthumous degree was presented to the sister of Tomas Esparza. Esparza ,56, was pursuing an associate degree in Culinary Arts when, what the family thinks was a heart attack caused by COVID, took his life. Four hours after his death, his wife also passed. Esparza’s sister will be available for interviews. 

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