Public Affairs

Ready for the Next Step

June 9, 2011
By Elizabeth Chapin

More than 100,000 CSU students were eligible to graduate this spring. Not only will this many new bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees make a profound impact on the state, nation and world—they'll provide the new college grads with limitless opportunities. Commencement ceremonies honored the achievements of the Class of 2011 and officially sent them off well-equipped for the future.

Here are highlights from this spring's CSU commencement celebrations:

Bakersfield: June 7, 10-11
CSU Bakersfield recognized nearly 2,000 members of the class of 2011 throughout three ceremonies. More than 400 graduate students took part in a hooding ceremony, and two separate ceremonies were held for over 1,500 undergraduates. CSUB President Horace Mitchell, President and CEO of California Council for the Humanities Dr. Ralph Lewin, and San Joaquin Hospital consultant Dr. Wendy Wayne addressed students.

Channel Islands: May 21
With over 1,300 students, the Class of 2011 proved to be CSU Channel Islands’ largest to date. Former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker.

Chico: May 21-22
Approximately 2,800 degree candidates took part in CSU Chico’s 121st commencement ceremony. Second District Assemblyman Jim Nielsen and CSU Chico President Paul Zingg addressed the new grads at two ceremonies.

Dominguez Hills: May 20
CSU Dominguez Hills President Mildred García presided over four ceremonies, which celebrated a graduating class of 4,100. In addition to President García, keynote speakers included Aerospace Corporation President and CEO Dr. Wanda Austin, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon, and President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza Janet Murguía. Boeing Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Dr. John Tracy also addressed students and received an honorary degree.

East Bay: June 10-12
Five ceremonies will recognize the achievements of 5,200 CSU East Bay students. Kim Polese, a prominent Silicon Valley executive and Internet industry entrepreneur, Bernard Osher, a longtime philanthropist and businessman who supports nearly 120 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, and Alex Mehran, East Bay businessman and civic leader, addressed the students and received honorary doctorates.

Fresno: May 21
This year, Fresno State celebrated its Centennial Commencement and the academic achievements of more than 5,200 students. Fresno native A. Jerrold “Jerry” Perenchio, who built Spanish-language television company Univision, received an honorary doctorate.

Fullerton: May 21-22
More than 10,000 students, including 1,919 graduate students, were eligible to take part in Cal State Fullerton’s commencement celebration. Keynote speakers included Tommy Lasorda, executive for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Regina E. Dugan, director for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Dugan also received an honorary Doctorate of Science.

Humboldt: May 14
Some 2,200 graduates were honored in the Redwood Bowl at Humboldt State’s commencement ceremony where HSU alumnus Robert Thomas delivered the keynote address. Thomas, a geology professor, was named 2009 U.S. Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Long Beach: May 25-27
CSU Long Beach recognized 8,900 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral students eligible for degrees in a collection of nine separate graduation ceremonies at the Long Beach campus.

Los Angeles: June 10-11
California State University, Los Angeles will confer more than 5,000 bachelor’s and master’s degrees during this year’s commencement. U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and California State Controller John Chiang will serve as keynote speakers. Los Angeles Police Commission President John W. Mack will also receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Maritime Academy: April 30
At Cal Maritime, more than 2,000 family members, friends, and distinguished guests were on-hand to celebrate the accomplishments of the nearly 160 graduates from the Class of 2011, who received their bachelor’s degrees in one of six areas of study: International Business and Logistics, Facilities Engineering Technology, Global Studies and Maritime Affairs, Mechanical Engineering, Marine Engineering Technology, and Marine Transportation.

Monterey Bay: May 21
CSU Monterey Bay President Dianne Harrison conferred degrees on 1,022 candidates at the university’s 15th annual commencement ceremony. President Harrison made extended remarks and was joined by student speaker Scott Bell, winner of the President’s Award for Exemplary Student Achievement.

Northridge: May 23
More than 10,000 students were eligible to take part in commencement exercises at Cal State Northridge. Television news anchor Rick Garcia, Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel, entertainment executive Jim Berk, and JPL engineer Michael Gross addressed students. Garcia, Greuel, and Berk were also awarded with honorary doctorates.

Pomona: June 10-12
Cal Poly Pomona will hold its 55th annual commencement ceremonies for more than 5,500 bachelor's and master's degree candidates. Each of Cal Poly Pomona’s eight colleges will hold its own ceremony.

Sacramento: May 20-21
Sacramento State’s spring commencement showcased more than 4,500 students and saw the first cohort of professional science master’s degree candidates in Biological Sciences, Stem Cell concentration. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson served as guest speaker for the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies, and Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez presented an honorary doctorate to Hugo Morales, founder of Radio Bilingue Inc., the National Latino Public Radio Network.

San Bernardino: June 16-19
More than 3,000 students will be eligible to graduate from Cal State San Bernardino when the university hosts six separate commencement ceremonies. Highly respected attorney, community activist and philanthropist Bruce D. Varner will be presented an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the College of Business and Public Administration graduation on June 18.

San Diego: May 20-22
More than 10,000 students were approved to participate in San Diego State’s 2011 Commencement, with an additional 297 candidates participating in commencement ceremonies at SDSU’s Imperial Valley Campus. This year’s honorary degree was conferred upon Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera and the Kyoto Prize Symposium, of which SDSU is a partner institution. The honorary Doctorate of Science was awarded to Inamori during the Kyoto Prize Symposium presentation at SDSU in April. The event also marked President Stephen Weber’s last commencement ceremony as acting president. During his tenure, he will have conferred more than 117,000 degrees to SDSU graduates.

San Francisco: May 21
President Robert A. Corrigan presided over his 22nd commencement and SF State's 110th as more than 8,000 students received degrees. Entrepreneur, philanthropist and SF State alum George M. Marcus, and U.S. Ambassador to Australia and former CSU Trustee Jeffrey Bleich received honorary degrees.

San Jose: May 28
Approximately 7,000 candidates were eligible to participate in San Jose State University’s 2011 Commencement. Speakers included founder and chairman of the Crown Worldwide Group James E. Thompson, USMC Major General Anthony L. Jackson, and Los Angeles Times Columnist Steve Lopez - all SJSU alumni. Jackson and Lopez also received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at SJSU’s Honors Convocation.

San Luis Obispo: June 11
More than 4,000 students are eligible to graduate in two separate ceremonies at Cal Poly’s Spring Commencement. The university expects as many as 30,000 visitors to campus for commencement ceremonies.

San Marcos: May 21
After hosting graduation offsite for the last decade, CSU San Marcos welcomed commencement back to campus this year. A total of 1,740 graduates participated in CSUSM's 20th annual events. An Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters was awarded to retired co-founder of Pardee Construction J. Douglas Pardee and an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts was awarded to actor José Yenque.

Sonoma: May 28
Approximately 2,000 students participated in Sonoma State's commencement. Award-winning writer, director, and producer Morgan Spurlock served as keynote speaker for both ceremonies. In the afternoon ceremony, an honorary Doctorate of Sciences was presented to Robert A. Johnson, a strong supporter of sustainability with a long legacy in agriculture and land management.

Stanislaus: May 27
More than 2,300 new graduates were eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies at CSU Stanislaus. The university awarded approximately 1,900 bachelors, 400 masters, 24 doctorates (Ed.D.).


Learn more about CSU Honorary Degrees.