MEDIA NOTES: For Saturday’s Commencement at the Save Mart Center, students begin arriving at 8 am. to assemble backstage. Media parking is in Bulldog Lot on the northwest corner of Chestnut and Shaw. Take elevators to floor level. Mult-box available at the sound system set-up behind the graduate seating on the west end of the lower level. Bios and photos of the 10 undergraduate Deans Medalists available through links at FresnoStateNews.corn and the Commencement 2006 News Web site. A full press release announcing the President’s Medal will be distributed Saturday. The recipient will be available after the ceremony with President Welty for comment at the stage area.

Nearly 3,000 graduates are expected to participate in California State University, Fresno’s 95th Commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 20, at the Save Mart Center, where the president will formally confer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees on the Class of 2006.

The Division of Student Affairs reports 4,080 students completed their work in the summer, fall or spring semesters and are eligible for bachelor’s degrees. Not all students participate in commencement, but the Kennel Bookstore reports that 2,700 cap and gown sets have been purchased for the events that begin tonight with the Nursing Pinning Ceremony. Another 300 sales were expected before Saturday.

Commencement events continue Friday with college and school convocations, department celebrations and the Hooding Ceremony for master’s and joint doctoral candidates. Four celebrations for ethnic minority and international students are scheduled Saturday. (See related news releases at

At Saturday’s Commencement, the university’s top two student awards — the President’s Medal and the Undergraduate Medal will be announced. Eighteen Dean’s Medalists will be honored and three degrees will be awarded posthumously.

The California State University and Fresno State will confer honorary doctoral degrees on aerospace industry innovator Sam F. lacobellis and press freedom advocate James McClatchy.

lacobellis, a graduate of Fresno State who pioneered the B1-B bomber, will receive the honorary Doctor of Science degree. McClatchy will receive the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Honorary doctorates — the CSU’s highest commendation — recognize recipients’ achievements, visionary leadership and civic commitment.

The President’s Medal will be awarded to one of the 10 undergraduate Dean’s Medalists representing Fresno State’s eight colleges and schools as well as Athletics and the Division of Student Affairs. They are: Robert L. Rumble of Modesto, Agricultural Sciences and Technology; Matthew Ragan of Lompoc, Arts and Humanities; Kevin S. Cooper of Lakeport, Craig School of Business; Casia Butler of Tulare, Kremen School of Education and Human Development; Jonathan D.K. Visitacion, Engineering and Computer Science; Garrett Kitt of Rockville, Md., Health and Human Services; Susan Andrea Look of Ham Lake, Minn., Science and Mathematics; Anne Visser of Sanger, Social Sciences; and Jennifer Reimer of Fresno, Division of Student Affairs.

Posthumous degrees will be formally conferred by President Welty on Shee Yang, Nathan

Hathaway and Yesenia Garcia, Fresno State students who died during the academic year.

On Saturday, Yang, who perished in a fire in March, will be posthumously awarded a bachelor of arts in social work. He also will be recognized Friday at the Department of Social Work graduation celebration at 4:30 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center. A family member will accept a scroll given to Social Work grads, said Dr. Jane Middleton, department chair. Middleton said the graduation committee will leave a seat vacant at the Social Work event to honor Yang’s memory.

Garcia, a graduate student who died in March, will be posthumously awarded the master’s of science degree in counseling with an option in counseling and student services. She had earned a bachelor of arts in social work in December 2003.

The university will arrange private presentations of the diplomas to the Yang and Garcia families this summer by President Welty and Provost Jeronima Echeverria, said Dr. Paul M. Oliaro, vice president of student affairs and dean of students.

A private ceremony for Hathaway’s family was held in March. He died in November. On Saturday, he will be posthumously awarded a bachelor of arts degree in mass communication and journalism. The College of Arts and Humanities also will hold a moment of silence in Hathaway’s memory during its convocation at 2 p.m. Friday in the Student Recreation Center and will send his family the certificate it presents to graduates. Hathaway was editor in chief of the student newspaper, The Collegian, in 2004-2005. The Nathan Hathaway Collegian Scholarship was established in his memory.

The university may award a posthumous degree to a student who dies prior to graduation based on recommendations to the provost from the department chair and school or college dean. Strict criteria are considered to include satisfactory completion of all course requirements to date and determination by faculty that the student was on track to satisfactorily complete class requirements within that semester. A posthumous degree is a fully earned degree.

For more information about Commencement, 559.278.2741.