Melissa Freeman, who received Bachelors degrees in Business Administration, International Business option, and in Linguistics, received the President’s Medal – the highest award to an undergraduate – at California State University, Fresno’s 99th Commencement.

She was recognized during the ceremony Saturday, May 22, at the Save Mart Center to confer bachelor’s degrees on 4,254 new graduates. Master’s degrees were awarded to 1,019 students, while 11 received educational specialist degrees and 33 doctorates.

Freeman was selected from among the Dean’s Undergraduate Medalists representing the outstanding students from the university’s eight schools and colleges of academic discipline and the Division of Student Affairs.

Freeman completed her degrees with a 3.98 grade point average. But it was her degree of involvement with the campus and beyond that set her apart from the other medalists.

Freeman graduated from Fresno’s Bullard High School primed to become a pharmacist. She enrolled in the University of the Pacific, but soon found that she wanted to take a different path. She left UOP and went to Fresno City College, where she was on the Dean’s List and received the Dean’s Medallion, Business Division.

At Fresno State, she won numerous scholarships, participated in the Craig School of Business Honors Program and College of Arts and Humanities Honors Program and was chosen the Outstanding Student for both the Department of Finance and Business Law and Linguistics.

She has been a Fresno State cheerleader and a member of the university’s Human Resources Games intercollegiate competition squad. She received an American Humanics certificate for her work in nonprofit management, grant writing and raising money for philanthropic causes in the community.

“The best decision of my life brought me to Fresno State,” she said.

“Now, I am excited to say I am graduating in the same month I would have from UOP, but without a Pharm.D.,” Freeman added. “Rather I have had a college life full of involvement, service and, best yet, skills and a business degree that I have a desire to share with the world.”

She also is proud of the research work she’s accomplished. Freeman earned first place in the Business, Economics and Public Administration undergraduate division in the 2010 California State University thesis competition. Her thesis topic was “Personality and Language Fluency in Expatriate Assignments.”

Praising Freeman’s “interdisciplinary perspective and approach to learning,” her faculty mentor, management professor Dr. Julie Olson-Buchanan, said Freeman “is the very definition of a passionate, well-rounded scholar.”

For information on all Dean’s Medalists, visit