California State University, Stanislaus held its three commencement ceremonies Thursday and Friday, in total seeing more than 2,500 students graduate.
Thursday and Friday’s morning ceremonies each recognized more than 950 students receiving undergraduate degrees, while an evening ceremony Thursday recognized an additional 600 students eligible for graduate degrees, including doctoral and master’s degrees, as well as teaching credentials.
Dean of Students Ron Noble welcomed graduates and visitors, telling them that because banning cell phones has become a lost cause over the past few years, the university asks that they use the hashtag “#StanGrad” if they are posting to social media.
After the singing of the university’s alma mater and the national anthem, President Joseph F. Sheley greeted graduates, celebrating the diverse representation of the region that CSU Stanislaus provides. Sheley listed off over a dozen local towns and cities, all to the cheers of students who felt proud to represent their home.
Mariam Salameh then shared that the class of 2014’s gift to the university would be an initiative to welcome fellow and future Warriors and raise campus pride — including a welcome banner to be on display at notable times throughout the year.
Thursday morning’s student speaker, Ana Orozco Cortez, shared the adversity she faced in making to graduation day. As a Latina daughter of immigrants, Orozco Cortez’s parents picked grapes for a living. The first in her family to graduate college, Orozco Cortez shared that despite the negativity she faced in school growing up, with people telling her to stop acting like a man and that she would never get to college, she remained determined to be a judge.
Orozco Cortez joked with students that as freshmen they learned it was never a good idea to confront geese on campus, and later they learned it was possible to stay awake for more than 24 hours studying for finals. As a representative of the class of 2014, Orozco Cortez thanked parents, professors, and friends for support over their time at CSU Stanislaus.
Finally, awards were presented before graduates received their diplomas and walked across the stage. Dr. Nancy Burroughs of the Communication Studies department received the Outstanding Professor Award, Communication Studies major Jared Tumazi won the J. Burton Vasche Award, and Liberal Studies major Dora Dominguez won the Geiger-Metzger Award.
To view the CSU Stanislaus class of 2014 graduates, click on the link here to open the pdf file in a new window.