Sacramento State’s spring Commencement at Power Balance Pavilion (formerly Arco Arena) May 20 and 21 showcased more than 4,500 students, an honorary doctorate recipient and two University supporters.
There were 4,554 students eligible to participate in graduation ceremonies, with the largest number — 1,015 — coming from the College of Health and Human Services.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson helped kick off the two-day event, serving as guest speaker at Friday morning’s first ceremony, for the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies.
During that same ceremony, University President Alexander Gonzalez presented graduating senior Monica Dean with the annual President’s Award. Each of the University’s seven colleges chooses a Dean’s Award recipient who has excelled academically and has made a significant community contribution. In addition to her academic skills, Monica Dean is a member of the Environmental Student Organization, cooks dinner at the Roseville Salvation Army every month, volunteers for “Read for America” at the Shriners hospital, and organized an event to send more than 100 valentines to troops overseas.
Also notable during the ceremonies was the graduation of the first cohort of professional science master’s degree candidates in Biological Sciences, Stem Cell concentration; the second cohort from the Educational Leadership Doctoral program; and the third cohort from the School of Psychology Ed.S. degree program.
Gonzalez made three special presentations to community members. The President’s Medal, which recognizes outstanding service to the University, was presented to Felix Fernandez, regional president of community banking for Wells Fargo; and to honorary alumna Pam Stewart, co-founder of CPS Human Resources Services and chief financial officer for The University Foundation at Sacramento State.
“Felix Fernandez and Pam Stewart have supported our students over many years, and as leaders in the community, they bring valuable expertise to our campus,” Gonzalez says. “I selected them for the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service because of their amazing focus and passion. They have always been dedicated to creating greater opportunities for students through private contributions that go where help is needed most.”
Wells Fargo has been a supporter of many Sacramento State programs, especially the Student Veteran Support program, which helps provide scholarships to veterans returning to school. Stewart serves on the President’s Committee for Nursing and has also served on the President’s Committee for the Eli and Edythe Broad Fieldhouse.
Fernandez was honored at the College of Business Administration ceremony, and Stewart was recognized at the College of Health and Human Services ceremony, both on Saturday.
Gonzalez presented an honorary doctorate from the California State University to Hugo Morales, founder of Radio Bilingue Inc., the National Latino Public Radio Network. The presentation was made during Friday evening’s College of Arts and Letters commencement.
“Hugo Morales is a visionary who saw that Spanish-speaking migrant workers in the United States were being underserved by the media,” says Gonzalez. “The pioneering radio network he founded connected with this audience like never before and provided culturally relevant content that helped them improve their health, civic participation and prospects in American life.”
For more information, visit http://www.csus.edu/commence/spring2011commence/. For media assistance, contact Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156.