Each Called by Name

Hundreds of stories, families, and hopes fill a stadium at one community college's commencement

A Thursday Night March 4

Greg Kahn for The Chronicle

Cheers greet new graduates of Prince George's Community College.

They've come early, packed into cars with congratulations painted on windows and balloons bobbing inside. Two hours before the big event, police officers and parking attendants direct traffic through a vast lot. In navy gowns, graduates head for the Show Place Arena with their parents and spouses, children and neighbors, colleagues and friends—the many who helped them reach this night.

Streaming across the gravel and grass, grandmothers push walkers,