Fresno State celebrates the diversity of its student body this week with eight commencement events May 20 and 21, including four keynote addresses and a record 950 students for the 40th Chicano/Latino Commencement Celebration.
- The 31st annual African-American Recognition Program will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Save Mart Center, and will feature keynote speaker Ramsey Jay, Jr., speaker and author of “Empowering Dreamers to Become Achievers: Living Your Life without Fear and Limitations.”
- The American Indian Graduation Celebration will be at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Woodward Park Rotary Amphitheater, where five graduates will be recognized.
- The Asian-American and Pacific Islander Graduation Ceremony will be at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Satellite Student Union with keynote speaker Deborah J. Ikeda, president of Clovis Community College.
- The 40th annual Chicano/Latino Commencement Celebration will be at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Save Mart Center, featuring U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, who will receive an honorary doctorate at the University commencement Saturday morning. PHOTO ALBUM: bit.ly/CLCC16fsAlbum
- The College Assistance Migrant Program Migrant Student Graduation will be at noon Saturday in the North Gym (Room 118).
- The International Commencement Celebration will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Satellite Student Union.
- The third annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ+) Commencement Celebration will be at 6 p.m. Friday in the Alice Peters Auditorium (Peters Business building), and will feature keynote speaker Kathleen Arambula-Reyna, an attorney who was recently elected as the first female director of the Fresno Reel Pride LGBTQ+ Film Festival.
The Educational Opportunity Program Graduate Recognition Celebration was held May 13.
Jay to deliver keynote at African American Recognition Ceremony May 21
Fresno State alumnus Ramsey Jay, Jr. will be the keynote speaker at Fresno State’s 31st annual African American Recognition Ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at the Save Mart Center. About 150 students will participate.
Jay earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance from the Craig School of Business. He was also a five-time all-conference track and field athlete.
While studying at the Craig School, he was the chief portfolio manager of the Student Investment Fund and elected -president of the Financial Management Association, which garnered national recognition as a Distinguished Chapter under his leadership.
Jay is a Wall Street-trained finance professional with more than a decade of global investment management experience, and is the founder of a global leadership development and communication consultancy organization — Ramsey Jay, Jr. and Associates.
In August 2015, Jay gave an impromptu speech at the Welcome Black event, Fresno State’s annual reception for new and returning African and African-American students, faculty, staff and community members.
EBONY Magazine named him as one of “30 Young Leaders Under 30.” In April 2015, Jay was invited to make opening remarks at the White House in February 2016 when President Barack Obama hosted an event honoring Ray Charles.
Following the keynote, over 30 students will receive honor cords acknowledging their high academic achievement.
Dr. T. Hasan Johnson, assistant professor for the Africana Studies Program, will preside over the Ona Eto Re, or Rites of Passage. In this traditional celebration of achievement, graduates will receive gifts and will be draped with a Ghanaian Kente cloth.
The ceremony also features special student performances including the singing of the African-American national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Black Students United’s Dance Express will perform a traditional African Dance.
The ceremony is presented by the Black Faculty and Staff Association. This year’s speaker is sponsored by the the African American Edge Initiative at Fresno State, a program designed to connect students with faculty with academic support and mentoring.
There will be a reception at the Smittcamp Alumni House at 4:30 p.m. following the ceremony where Jay will be available to sign copies of his new book “Empowering Dreamers to Become Achievers: Living Your life Without Fear and Limitations.”
“Ramsey offers a uniquely insightful and deeply compelling approach to creating a successful life filled with meaning,” said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro. “Drawing upon his extraordinary personal journey and the wisdom gained through interactions with many mentors, including his grandmother, Ramsey urges us to boldly envision the life we want and take the necessary steps to make it a reality.
“I was inspired by his challenge to imagine seeing our most beloved mentor and to prepare to answer the question ’What did you do with the gifts I’ve given you?””
For more information, contact Dr. Francine Oputa at 559.278.4435 or at email@example.com.
American Indian graduation May 20
Five Fresno State graduates will celebrate their academic accomplishments during the American Indian Graduation Celebration at 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 20 at the Woodward Park Rotary Amphitheater (7775 N Friant Rd.).