TURLOCK – California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, a highly successful businessman and entrepreneur with an extensive public service background, will be the keynote speaker at the opening California State University, Stanislaus Commencement program on Friday, June 5.
CSU Stanislaus will present bachelor’s and master’s degrees to more than 2,300 students at its 49th Annual Commencement ceremonies on June 5 and Saturday, June 6. Both programs start at 8 a.m. in the University Amphitheater where audience seats for more than 7,000 people will be set up for graduates’ families and friends.
Graduates from the Colleges of Business Administration, Human and Health Sciences, and Natural Sciences will receive their degrees on June 5 and those from the Colleges of the Arts, Education, and Humanities and Social Sciences will march to the stage on June 6.
Poizner oversees the California Department of Insurance (CDI) in his current state leadership role over the largest consumer protection agency in the state. His agency has a $200 million budget and regulates almost one-tenth of the California economy.
Poizner, who has held his current elected office since 2007, describes himself as a strong advocate for education reform. He was co-founder of the growing California Charter Schools Association and Ed-Voice, a statewide organization that advocates education reform and promotes issues such as charter schools, accountability, and local control. Poizner served in the White House in 2001-02 as Director of Critical Infrastructure Protection in the National Security Council.
Founder of several technology companies, Poizner’s most recent firm, SnapTrack, pioneered life-saving technology that put GPS receivers as the industry standard in more than 700 million cell phones.
Recipients of the two top student awards will be announced and presented at the Friday, June 5 program. The Lee Metzger Award will reward a student with high academic achievement and the J. Burton Vasche Award goes to the student who displays the highest standards of leadership, cooperation, participation, service, and scholarship.
Both programs will include student speakers. Kasie Rozario, a Child Development major from Rocklin who also played on the women’s soccer team for four years, will speak about “making a difference” on Friday. Saturday’s student speaker will be Aimee Sims, an Economics major from Modesto and a graduate of Manteca High School who will talk about “living adventure.” Singing the national anthem and University alma mater on both Friday and Saturday will be Monica Errington-Hull of Woodland who is graduating with a Music Degree in Vocal Performance.
As the University prepares to cap its 50th anniversary celebration in 2010, one of its charter faculty members will step to center stage on Saturday. Dr. James Hanson, a retired Biological Sciences Professor who was one of the original faculty members when classes started at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in 1960, will present a Geography Degree to his grandson, Andrew Morgan.
Additional seating will be available in nearby Snider Recital Hall where both programs can be viewed by simulcast. The two ceremonies can also be viewed live on the University’s commencement Web site at http://www.csustan.edu/commencement/.