With tears, laughter and plenty of celebrating, about 2,500 Sacramento State students became alumni Dec. 16 and 17, receiving their degrees during Winter Commencement ceremonies at Power Balance Pavilion.
In his remarks to six of the University’s seven colleges, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joseph Sheley highlighted the students’ pride in their accomplishments, and what they mean to the community.
Sheley acknowledged the continuing economic and state budget struggles, and urged the students not to listen to those who question the value of higher education. “Many people will tell you that a college degree is not worth the effort you put into it. I am here to say they are flat-out wrong. Your college education will be there for you always. It will be there when the economy improves. It will be there as you face this and other of life’s challenges. You will never regret earning your college degree.”
He also encouraged the students to let the self-confidence they are now feeling spread throughout the community and to those who will come after them. “Show your Sac State pride. Talk about your alma mater. Make middle school and high school kids want to go here someday,” Sheley said.
The keynote address for Saturday’s College of Arts and Letters ceremony was given by Vice President for Human Resources David Wagner. He, too, noted how instrumental an educated populace is to overcoming economic struggles, and said education is just as important in laying the foundation for becoming engaged citizens.
“It takes work for democracy to flourish,” Wagner said. “The academic disciplines represented in this college, at their core, provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary for you to weigh in on the critical issues facing this state and nation.”
The number of students eligible to graduate this winter was 2,565, although not all take part in Commencement. Estimated graduates per college:
The Class of 2011, including the students who graduated last spring, totals more than 7,000.
– Craig Koscho
Celebrating at the College of Business Administration ceremony.
Those Memorable Mortarboards