By ERIC KLUMP
Pima Community College’s graduation ceremony will feature a speaker who displays the qualities of a top student: drive, purpose and an eye for the future.
Dax W. Crocker, 40, exudes those qualities in and out of school by studying religion and serving as a minister at Tucson’s House of Glory Church.
He graduates as a Phi Theta Kappa honor society member, maintaining a 3.9 grade point average.
Crocker was born in Guatemala. His surname comes from an adventurous Irish great-grandfather who journeyed to the United States, then to the Central American nation. At age 14, he immigrated with his family to Los Angeles.
He served as a missionary in Sweden, Spain and Italy before returning to the United States in 1997 to pastor a church in Providence, R.I. He moved to Tucson in August 2006.
Crocker had no college background beyond ministry school when he began attending PCC in his 30s. His goal was to earn an associate degree in general studies and gain academic experience.
“I have been in ministry for over 20 years, but I don’t have an academic degree,” he said. “I want to reach out to the academic world.”
Crocker attended PCC with his 18-year-old daughter, Rebecca. The two shared an online math course and helped each other with the workload.
“I’m proud of him,” she said of her father.
“I know he didn’t get a chance to [go to college] when he was younger, because of stuff that life had thrown at him.”
Crocker will transfer to the University of Arizona to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in religion studies. From there, he hopes to attend Harvard University to earn a doctorate in divinity.
His ultimate goal is to return to UA as a religion professor.
In his current role as a minister at the House of Glory Church, Crocker has built a strong bond with church members. They stay to chat with Crocker long after the service has formally ended.
Worshippers like Dave Coder think Crocker is a great person and that PCC made the right choice in picking him to speak.
“His speech was outstanding in addressing issues that we are facing today” Christy Yebra, chairwoman of PCC’s graduation search committee, said. “He will represent the class of 2012 and Pima Community College well.”
slated for May 17
Pima Community College’s graduation ceremony will be held May 17 at 7 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave.
Parking is free for students and guests. Graduates may bring as many guests as they desire.
Participating graduates should check in between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Professional photographers will be available before and after the ceremony.
The ceremony will be recorded and rebroadcast on Cox and Comcast cable channels.
For full details, visit the 2012 graduation link at pima.edu.
The link is pima.edu/events/graduation-ceremony/index.html.