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MMC Announces Class of 2023 Valedictorian

Marymount Manhattan College has named Kathryn Miramontes of Woodland, California, valedictorian of its 2023 graduating class. She’ll address faculty and administrators, her classmates, and their families at the College’s 74th Commencement ceremony, which takes place at the United Palace theater on Friday, May 19.

Miramontes is a History major with a concentration in Fashion History and Historical Costuming and an Art History minor. She holds a perfect 4.0 GPA.

“I’ve always tried to do the best I can academically, and this is a nice acknowledgment that my hard work has paid off,” she said. “It’s good to know that all the hours I’ve put in for class assignments have accumulated into an awesome award that I’ll always remember and a moment I’ll be able to share with others.”

Miramontes transferred to MMC from a community college in Sacramento as a junior. The move came after years of dreaming of life in New York City—and striking a bargain with her mother.

“I always knew I wanted to go to college in New York, but I’d never been here before, and my entire family is in California,” she said. “So my mom asked me to wait two years and save in the meantime.”

In fact, it wasn’t until Miramontes was scheduled to move into her MMC dorm that she flew to New York for the first time. The city and its possibilities for connection and learning haven’t disappointed, she said.

“I just love how busy and beautiful it is, from the architecture to the melting pot of people,” she said. “I almost feel like I’m living in a Pinterest board—my first week here, I ran on the Manhattan Bridge with the most stunning sunset in the background. But my favorite thing about New York is how you’re never bored—there’s always an event or a new exhibition to check out.”

And if life in the city has turned out just as she’d hoped, the same is true of her time at MMC, which she was attracted to for its intimate environment and opportunities to work closely with faculty.

“I went to a small high school and wanted a smaller college setting because I knew I’d be overwhelmed if I went somewhere with thousands of students,” she said. “To find a community like this, where there are so many different kinds of people with different interests, is really special and has helped me grow in ways I wouldn’t have at my community college back home.”

What’s more, she said, the College’s philosophy of turning the city into a classroom and weaving NYC throughout the MMC experience has made it the ideal place to pursue her major and minor.

“Studying art history and being able to go to institutions like the Met made everything click 10 times better and 10 times faster than if you were just looking at pictures online or in a book,” she said.

After graduation, she hopes to work as a fashion history research consultant overseeing period costumes on sets or as a stylist. “I enjoy mixing and matching other people’s work and using it to create a different look or wardrobe,” she said. This semester, she has been interning in the showroom of the textile brand Castel, and for her senior project, she curated an exhibition and catalog on hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) and its resurgence.

When she delivers her valedictorian speech at commencement, she plans to encourage fellow graduating seniors to take stock of the moment and what they’ve achieved. “We all have different plans after MMC,” she said. “But my main goal is to tell the class of 2023 that no matter what your next step is, this is a huge accomplishment. We’re all graduating from college in New York City, and that’s so awesome.” 

Published: March 14, 2023