Commencement 2009 is under way at Fresno State with 27 events
leading up to the University Commencement ceremony Saturday
morning. Today at the Kremen Education convocation, liberal arts
major Mindi Lin lets her nephew Yong Feng try on her cap and
gown. A native of China, Mindi moved with her family to the U.S.
eight years ago.
California State University,
Fresno’s Commencement 2009 – a celebration that covers two days and
includes 27 events – will honor the achievements of 5,349 students who
have earned their baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees.
College and school convocations, a graduate hooding ceremony and 19
recognition events begin Friday, with the biggest event – the 98th
Commencement – scheduled at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Save Mart Center
The President’s Medalist, who is the top undergraduate student, is
introduced at Saturday’s ceremony and the University Graduate Medal
winner is announced Friday night. Eighteen Dean’s Medalists will be
honored for academic achievement and other accomplishments.
Friday’s full day of events begins with the first convocation at 8 a.m.
and concludes at 7:30 p.m. with the Hooding Ceremony for graduate
The busy weekend culminates with ABC News anchor John Quinones being
honored at the 33rd Latino Commencement Celebration at 6 p.m. Saturday
in the Save Mart Center.
activity of the 2009 commencement season will be the Air
Force ROTC Commissioning Ceremony June 6 at the Leon S.
and Pete P. Peters Educational Center, within the
Student Recreation Center. It will include a California
Air National Guard flyover at 1:30 p.m.
Convocations on Friday will be held in two locations. In
the Save Mart Center will be the following: at 9 a.m.,
the Kremen School of Education and Human Development; at
12:30 p.m., the College of Social Sciences; and at 4
p.m., the Craig School Business.
In the Student Recreation Center will be the following:
at 8:30 a.m., the Lyles College of Engineering; at 11
a.m., the College of Arts and Humanities; and at 2 p.m.,
the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and
At Saturday’s ceremony, Fresno State President John D.
Welty will confer degrees on 4,343 students who
completed their work in the summer, fall or spring
semesters and are eligible for bachelor’s degrees.
Another 988 students are eligible for master's degrees,
13 students for doctoral degrees, and five for a new
education specialist degree.
The education specialist degree, offered through the
Division of Graduate Studies, is an 86-unit program
approved by the state in 2008 for the continuing
education of school psychologists working in grades
K-12. The Class of 2009 students are the first class to
obtain the new degree from Fresno State.
The Class of 2009 includes 26 baccalaureate students who
earned all A’s and 148 students who earned the summa cum
laude (“with highest praise”) distinction for a GPA of
3.9 to 4.0. Seventeen students are graduating in 12
different special majors and 46 Smittcamp Family Honors
College President’s Scholars are graduating with
The California State
University and Fresno State will confer honorary doctoral degrees on two
Leslie Bassett of Flowery
Branch, Ga., a Fresno State alumnus who will receive the honorary
degree of Doctor of Fine Arts degree for his musical accomplishments
John L. “Jack” Woolf of
Fresno, who will receive the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for
his generosity that has helped Fresno State students focus on
agricultural water issues.
Trustees Carol R. Chandler
and Russel Statham will represent the CSU.
A posthumous bachelor’s degree in a special major, Crop Science
Economics, will be awarded to Christopher Souza who died in January. A
posthumous master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling will be awarded
to Jerry Hultgren who died in February.
Approximately 18 retiring professors will be honored by the conferral of
emeritus status, including Dr. Ronald S. Kiyuna, a professor in the
Department of Counseling, Special Education and Rehabilitation, who died
in October 2008.
The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching will be presented to Dr.
Nagy N. Bengiamin, professor and chair of the Department of Electrical
and Computer Engineering at Fresno State.
Four other professors will be honored for excellence:
Monica Fusich, reference
librarian in the Henry Madden Library, recipient of the Technology
in Education Award.
Dr. Carol Fry Bohlin,
professor of curriculum and instruction, recipient of the Graduate
Teaching and Mentoring Award.
Donald M. Priest,
associate professor and chair of the Department of Mass
Communication and Journalism, recipient of the Faculty Service
professor of music, recipient of the Distinguished Achievement in
Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Award.
Promising New Faculty Awards
will be presented to Amanda Adams (psychology), Vincent Biondo
(philosophy), Jill Bradley (management), Alex Espinoza (English), Krish
Krishnan (chemistry) and Larry Riley (biology).
The flags of 36 countries will adorn the Commencement stage to represent
the countries of origin of this year’s graduates. Timothy Howard, a
graduating music major, will sing the National Anthem and lead the new
alumni in singing the Alma Mater to close Saturday’s ceremony.
All commencement events are free and open to the public, except for the
Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and the College
of Arts and Humanities convocations, both at the Student Recreation
Center, which require admission tickets.
The main commencement, Graduate Hooding Ceremony and International
Graduation Celebration (1 p.m. Saturday, Music Building Concert Hall)
will be streamed live with captioning on the Bulldog TV Web site. The
feeds also will be available via iTunes U by the end of next week.
For more information about Commencement, call 559.278.2741.