Chancellor Joseph I. Castro of the California State University has announced he will attend Fresno State’s six commencement ceremonies in May to confer degrees on the graduates of the Classes of 2020 and 2021.

Castro, who served as Fresno State’s president for seven years, moved to Long Beach in January to head the 23-campus CSU system.

Fresno County’s improved ranking to the state’s COVID-19 red tier category will allow Fresno State to offer smaller-scale, in-person Commencement ceremonies May 14, 15 and 16 in Bulldog Stadium, Interim President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval announced last month.

There will be six separate ceremonies, each including approximately 1,400 graduates. Two ceremonies would be held each day, one at 9 a.m. and the other at 7 p.m. The University will follow state and local public health guidelines, and should conditions within Fresno County change, it may have to alter these plans.

Graduates need to register by Friday, April 9, with their intent to attend the ceremony of their respective school/college. Each graduate who registers will be issued a maximum of four assigned tickets for their guests.

Graduates will be seated on the football field and all guests will be assigned to a specific seating location (pods) in Bulldog Stadium. These pods will be socially distanced in accordance with the latest CDC and state public health guidelines. The wearing of facial coverings will be required at all times for graduates and attendees. 

Castro’s wife, Mary, also will attend the ceremonies, but unlike in the past will not be able to offer hugs to graduates because of COVID-19 distancing protocols.

A new Commencement website has the latest communications and updates.