May 7, 2004

Graduation to add seventh CSUS degree to Alie family tally

Complete spring 2004 commencement schedule

When the youngest of the five Alie siblings, Jawad, completes spring commencement along with more than 3,600 other students at California State University, Sacramento May 21 and 22, the four brothers and sister will share seven college degrees, all earned at CSUS.

Jawad’s participation in the College of Business Administration’s ceremony at noon, Saturday, May 22 in Hornet Stadium will be the culmination of a family dream.

“From an early age my dad ingrained in us the importance of education and how much that can translate into opportunity, “ says Mike Alie, who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology (1992) and a graduate degree in graphic design and art (1997) from CSUS.

Adnan Alie, father of the five, never made it past the third grade in his native Palestine, leaving school to work the family olive orchards. His wife, Fay, left high school an A-student at 16, devoting herself to her new role as wife and later mother.

“We like to think the two extra degrees were earned for our parents,” says Mike.

Mike’s brother Neal was the first of the Alie children to graduate from the University, earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1988. He was followed by sister Manal, who earned bachelor’s degrees in English literature (1991) and textiles merchandising and marketing (1994). Mike was next in line, then came brothers Fares, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2002, and Jawad, who also will finish with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Before coming to Sacramento, the family bounced around California, Hawaii and the West Bank. Adnan quit farming to become a successful businessman, and the family followed his career and his desire for his children to experience Palestinian culture. “We left the West Bank in 1984 just as the political climate was heating up, “ says Mike, now a graphic designer for the CSUS College of Continuing Education. The family moved to Sacramento when Neal started at the University.

“CSUS is a gorgeous school, the faculty’s incredible, “ says Mike. “Some of my most inspiring learning happened while I was a student here.” Jawad agrees, adding that he understands the significance of being the last of the five siblings to graduate. “It’s like achieving the ultimate goal, a whole family goal,” he says.

Adnan died in 2000 of pulmonary fibrosis, having watched three of his five children cross the stage to receive their CSUS diplomas.

“My father was the kind of person who always looked to the future. He said, ‘With education everything is a little easier. Education gives you a lot of opportunities. Work hard and it will pay off later,’” says Jawad. “No one can ever take that away from my family, that all five of us have graduated from the same university.”

All five Alie siblings and their mother will be available to the media at the College of Business Administration commencement ceremony at noon, Saturday, May 22 in Hornet Stadium. For more information, call (916) 278-6156. On day of event, call (916) 835-8870.

Complete spring 2004 commencement schedule


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •