The 96th Commencement at California State University, Fresno will be Saturday, May 19, at the Save Mart Center on campus, beginning at 10 a.m.

Commencement Week activities will include 20 events, all on campus for the first time.

Activities begin Friday, May 18, with College and School convocations and several department and program celebrations throughout the day. At 7:30 p.m., the Save Mart Center will be the site of the Graduate Degree Hooding Ceremony, which includes awarding of the doctoral degree in educational leadership, offered jointly with the University of California.

After Saturday morning’s University Commencement, seven more events will be held, concluding at 6 p.m. with the Latino Commencement Celebration at the Save Mart Center.

New this year is the University High School celebration at 5 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center. UHS is the charter school sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities and chartered through the Sierra Unified School District. Classes for 400 students are held at Fresno State.

One event will be held two weeks after the university Commencement, when the Air Force ROTC Commissioning Ceremony is conducted at the Peters Educational Center on June 1.

Senior portrait photo sessions will be held in the Smittcamp Alumni House on May 16 and 17 from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. each day. Graduates may now book a sitting with Ultimate Exposures Photography at its Web site (See link below).

The University Commencement Planning Committee, coordinated by the Division of Student Affairs, plans the various activities.

Last year, 1,400 graduates participated and about 9,000 guests attended the universitywide Commencement on Saturday morning, said Gary Nelson, Commencement coordinator in the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development.


Graduates and guests are reminded to arrive early to minimize delays caused by heavy traffic.

Free parking is available in all parking lots on campus, including those surrounding the Save Mart Center. Because Chestnut Avenue is closed for road improvements, new traffic and parking plans are in place this year.

Graduates should park in the East Lot, located east of Chestnut at Shaw Avenue, which provides proximity to the loading dock area where graduates assemble for the processional. Access to the East Lot will be from Barstow between Chestnut and Willow, using a service road east of the Farm Market, or from Shaw for westbound traffic only. (See map link below).

Guests may park in the North Lot of the Save Mart Center, or other university parking lots west of the center, with access off Woodrow Avenue only, from either Shaw or Barstow avenues.


Call 559.278.2741 or see updates at the following Web sites:

Schedule and general instructions for grads:

A Guide for Seniors Handbook:

Graduation attire and merchandise:

Senior portrait appointments:

Traffic and parking at the Save Mart Center:

Press Releases: