HIDALGO — Almost 3,000 scholars received their degrees at South Texas College’s commencement ceremonies Saturday at the Payne Arena in Hidalgo.

The 2,969 graduates strode across the stage one by one in three separate ceremonies, cheered by family and friends as they officially closed the chapter in their education career.

South Texas College awarded 2,969 graduates with degrees at the college’s commencement ceremonies Saturday. (Matt Wilson | mwilson@themonitor.com)

STC awarded 321 bachelor’s degrees and 691 degrees from the Business, Public Safety, and Technology Division during the morning ceremony. In the afternoon, the college conferred 1,155 degrees from the Division of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, 547 degrees from the Nursing and Allied Health Division and 255 graduates from the Division of Math and Sciences.

“This is the day that we honor you, our graduates,” STC President Shirley Reed said to the graduates prior to conferring degrees from the Division of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. “Graduation from a college or university is an honor few receive, and I know many of you in the audience today and among our graduates are the very first in their family to have someone graduate from college.”

Reed spoke on the challenges the graduates overcame to receive their degrees.

“Each of you had that dream, that desire to go to college, and all of us at South Texas College were here to support you,” she said. “I know the journey was not always easy, but you persevered. You did it, and we want to commend you and tell you how proud we are of each and every one of you.”

South Texas College awarded 2,969 graduates with degrees at the college’s commencement ceremonies Saturday. (Matt Wilson | mwilson@themonitor.com)

Reed also said the ceremony was meant to recognize the support network many graduates relied upon to successfully pursue their degrees.

“We are here to honor you, the graduating class of 2019, as well as your parents, your spouses, your families, all your children and your friends,” she said.