United World College holds special graduation for evacuated students

It was a one-of-a-kind graduation for students at the United World College.On Saturday, staff and faculty hosted a special ceremony for the class of 2022 at Camp Glorieta. The location has served as the school’s secondary home for the last several weeks. “The last two weeks just went by like that, and we’re kind of just catching our breaths,” Sahara Sky Canham-Fishleigh, a graduate, said.The 40-year-old college had to evacuate on April 29, due to the close proximity of the growing Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire. Since then, students and faculty have stayed on camp property to finish the spring semester.Everybody had to pull together, and the students had to continue with their exams through pretty trying time,” President Victoria Mora of United World College, said. “Luckily, we had been doing a lot of logistical planning about how we would evacuate from campus and what we would do at our destination site. , we had already worked with Glorieta to make sure that they were ready for us.”Mora said, despite the challenging situation, the college still wanted to hold a graduation. One that would be memorable for all. Saturday’s outdoor ceremony recognized 104 students, a body which represented over 50 countries around the globe. Canham-Fishleigh was just one of them. A Canadian native, she focused on International Studies during her two years at the school. “I think that we’ve all just been there for each other, and that’s kind of how we’ve been able to handle this. I mean, we couldn’t be at a better place,” she said. The special event was the safest and easiest option for school officials.They’re also grateful for everyone who helped with the college’s relocation operations, from firefighters to leaders at Camp Glorieta.”We’re proud of them. They won’t forget this experience. That’s the good thing,” Faith Abiodun, executive director of USW-International, said. “They will remember what it was like to come to school here for two years, and they remember the people made experiences beautiful.”A prime example of resiliency, and how communities can come together, to celebrate those who have been through so much. “This is just one more outdoor challenge that I think they’ve risen to, and it’s going to stay with them the rest of their life. The positive aspects of the lessons of coming together, being flexible, and succeeding as a community. It’s really terrific,” Scott Dickerson, chair of the board at UWC, said. Canham-Fishleigh added she will always be thankful for the opportunity. “I’ve been through a few natural disasters in my life, and never have I had this many people on staff 24/7 to cater to our needs, to be able to get resources on hand. I really would say gratitude,” she said. This is the first time United World College hosted a graduation off campus.The school was evacuated one other time because of a nearby wildfire, but only for one day, sot the change didn’t affect any graduation ceremonies. To learn more about UWC, visit their website here.

It was a one-of-a-kind graduation for students at the United World College.

On Saturday, staff and faculty hosted a special ceremony for the class of 2022 at Camp Glorieta. The location has served as the school’s secondary home for the last several weeks.

“The last two weeks just went by like that, and we’re kind of just catching our breaths,” Sahara Sky Canham-Fishleigh, a graduate, said.

The 40-year-old college had to evacuate on April 29, due to the close proximity of the growing Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire.

Since then, students and faculty have stayed on camp property to finish the spring semester.

Everybody had to pull together, and the students had to continue with their exams through [a] pretty trying time,” President Victoria Mora of United World College, said. “Luckily, we had been doing a lot of logistical planning about how we would evacuate from campus and what we would do at our destination site. [Also], we had already worked with [Camp] Glorieta to make sure that they were ready for us.”

Mora said, despite the challenging situation, the college still wanted to hold a graduation. One that would be memorable for all.

Saturday’s outdoor ceremony recognized 104 students, a body which represented over 50 countries around the globe.

Canham-Fishleigh was just one of them. A Canadian native, she focused on International Studies during her two years at the school.

“I think that we’ve all just been there for each other, and that’s kind of how we’ve been able to handle this. I mean, we couldn’t be at a better place,” she said.

The special event was the safest and easiest option for school officials.

They’re also grateful for everyone who helped with the college’s relocation operations, from firefighters to leaders at Camp Glorieta.

“We’re proud of them. They won’t forget this experience. That’s the good thing,” Faith Abiodun, executive director of USW-International, said. “They will remember what it was like to come to school here for two years, and they remember the people made experiences beautiful.”

A prime example of resiliency, and how communities can come together, to celebrate those who have been through so much.

“This is just one more outdoor challenge that I think they’ve risen to, and it’s going to stay with them the rest of their life. The positive aspects of the lessons of coming together, being flexible, and succeeding as a community. It’s really terrific,” Scott Dickerson, chair of the board at UWC, said.

Canham-Fishleigh added she will always be thankful for the opportunity.

“I’ve been through a few natural disasters in my life, and never have I had this many people on staff 24/7 to cater to our needs, to be able to get resources on hand. I really would say gratitude,” she said.

This is the first time United World College hosted a graduation off campus.

The school was evacuated one other time because of a nearby wildfire, but only for one day, sot the change didn’t affect any graduation ceremonies.

To learn more about UWC, visit their website here.