Valencia 2018 Homecoming Honors 50 Years of Excellence


Bethany Dionne, Contributing Writer

This year’s Valencia 2018 Homecoming was not only an alumni event, but was the Celebration of Valencia’s 50th Anniversary. It was held at the Orlando Science Center and stayed true to the original Valencia spirit. The night connected the early basketball team, the Matadors, to the Spanish themed event. The early History of the college was displayed throughout the halls. Tapas and Flamenco dancers entertained the guests until the ceremony began.


Valencia President Sandy Shugart took the stage to honor the distinguished alumni that went on to flourish in the community. Graduates from 1970 to 2013 came together to receive their medals. Among the group were some well known people throughout the community. Ybeth Bruzual, who is now a news anchor for Channel 13 News. She also served as a writer and circulation manager of Valencia’s own newspaper.


Along with Samuel B. Ings, Orlando’s current District 6 Commissioner, was the former Mayor of Orange County Richard Crotty. He shared his idea of what Valencia gives to its students. “Quality education is for everyone,” says Crotty.


Businessman, Brad Pierce, President of his own company Restaurant Equipment World, expanded internationally with offices in Orlando, FL and Dubai, UAE. Pierce accepted his medal and offered advice. “Live life to the fullest and enjoy every second of the ride.”


Chris Kirkpatrick, a former singer and member of the band NSYNC also known for his work on Nickelodeon’s cartoon “The Fairly Odd Parents” as the voice of Chip Skylark. While holding up his medal to the crowd he stated, “Justin Timberlake doesn’t have one of these!”


The Honorary Alumnus of the night was James Gollattscheck who served as the second president of the college. The night was a glimmer into the spirit of Valencia where President Shugart ended with a memorable comment of “Remember that it’s your story that carries our story.”