Pima Community College will celebrate the largest graduating class in its history at its annual spring commencement Thursday.

Students ranging in age from 17 to 70 are among 3,726 eligible for graduation this year - 102 more than the previous record set last year.

The record is "a testament to our graduates' love of learning, as well as to the work of the college's faculty and staff," Provost Jerry Migler said in a news release.

The class of 2013, and thousands of well-wishers, will descend on Tucson Convention Center for festivities that start at 7 p.m.

Unlike larger schools that bring in big names to give speeches, PCC's commencement address will be given by one of its students, 20-year-old Joshua Allen Place.

Place, who was born in Tucson and raised in Sahuarita and Green Valley, started attending PCC at 16 after being home-schooled all his life.

He holds a 3.9 grade-point average and will receive associate's degrees in general studies and in computer-aided drafting, integrated-circuit layout design. He also earned an advanced certificate in computer-aided drafting.

Place hopes to work as a microchip designer.

The youngest PCC graduate this year is Stephania Vasilieva, 17, of Marana, who is a candidate for three associate's degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration.

The eldest graduate is Enriqueta Fassler, 70, of Tucson, who earned a post-degree paralegal certificate.

Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at calaimo@azstarnet.com or at 573-4138.

On StarNet: Take part in StarNet's live blog on graduations happening in Tucson at live.azstarnet.com

If you go

• What: Pima Community College Spring Commencement

• When: Thursday, 7 p.m.

• Where: Tucson Convention Center Arena, 260 S. Church Avenue.