Dr. Jorge Castañeda Guzman, former Secretary of Foreign Affairs for Mexico, will be honored at Fresno State’s 36th Annual Latino Commencement Celebration Saturday, May 19.
The event is the oldest and largest of four Commencement celebrations of diversity at Fresno State that will be held Saturday, all in the Save Mart Center, and considered to be the largest of its kind in the United States.
“Our Latino Commencement Celebration is not only the largest in the nation, but perhaps the most beautiful and colorful as well,” said Dr. Luz González, dean of the College of Social Sciences. “The event has been attracting a growing number of participants in the last several years.”
At 2 p.m., Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Cullers, chief of the Fresno office, will speak at the 27th African American Recognition Ceremony. Graduates will participate in the traditional African “Rite of Passage” ceremony and be presented with kente cloth, a ceremonial African dressing signifying the meaning of “mmeeda” or something that has not happened before.
The other two diversity events are the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) at noon in the Satellite Student Union and the International Commencement Celebration at 1 p.m. in the Music Building Concert Hall.
At the Latino Commencement Celebration, more than 10,000 are expected when approximately 673 graduates will be honored.
Entertainment begins at 5 p.m. with the celebration starting at 6:30 p.m.
Castañeda is a professor and politician who served as Secretary of Foreign Affairs for Mexico from 2000-2003. Born in Mexico City, he received his bachelor’s from Princeton University and Ph.D. from the University of Paris.
He is the author of more than a dozen books, including a biography of Che Guevara, the South American revolutionary fighter. Castañeda regularly contributes to newspapers around the world such as Reforma in Mexico, El País in Spain, the Los Angeles Times and Newsweek magazine.
Past honorees have included ABC Correspondent John Quinones, actor Edward James Olmos, director Moctesuma Esparza, former Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, and Univision national anchor Maria Elena Salinas.
Cullers attended the University of California, Los Angeles before he earned his law degree at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., in 1984. As chief of the Fresno U.S. Attorney’s Office, Cullers oversees 18 federal prosecutors who handle white collar, terrorism, major narcotics and violent crime cases.
Cullers has received the U.S. Department of Justice’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and the Fresno County Young Lawyers Blaine Pettit Memorial Mentor Award. He is a mentor class leader for United Black Men of Fresno, mentoring a weekly class on leadership, responsibility, accountability and the value of education at Sunnyside High School.
He is president of the Hugh Goodwin Bar Association, comprising local African-American lawyers and judges, and is a member of the Fresno County Bar Board of Directors.
INFO: Tawanda Kitchen at 559.278.5364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the CAMP event, two Dean’s Medalist nominees will be honored: Lucero Karina Torres, graduating with a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration, and Noel Ladesma, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an option in accounting.
INFO: Ofelia Gamez at 559.278.4768 or email@example.com.
The International Commencement Celebration will honor 135 graduates from 36 countries. Refreshments will be served from 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
The event also will be streamed live with captioning online at www.fresnostatenews.com/commencement. The broadcast will be available again on the Fresno State You Tube page next week.
INFO: Lucia Hammer at 559.278.2782 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(University Communications student news assistant Reganie Smith-Love contributed to this copy).