DEGREES ceremony 2015
The University Union Ballroom was filled for the DEGREES Project's “Honoring Persistence: Milestones of Completion.” (Sacramento State/Steve McKay) | More photos

Renowned speaker Dr. Steve Perry, an educator and best-selling author, will give the keynote address at the DEGREES Project’s second annual recognition of its program scholars from noon to 1:30 p.m. May 12 in the University Union Ballroom.

The event, “Honoring Persistence: Milestones of Completion,” will include food and fun celebrating the hard work of the project’s scholars. Students, faculty, staff, and the public are invited.

Established in 2013, DEGREES ( is a comprehensive retention effort that provides peer coaching, faculty advising, mentoring, online tutoring 24 hours a day, peer tutoring and an array of support mechanisms designed to elevate student success for the campus as a whole. More than 90 percent of DEGREES Project scholars maintain good academic standing.

Perry has been featured on the CNN Black in America series and is recognized widely for his innovative approach to student success and his founding work at Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Conn. His most recent work, Push Has Come to Shove: Getting Our Kids the Education They Deserve, provides a provocative look at the secrets to success. Perry’s address is titled the “Power of Persistence in the Face of Difficulty.”

The DEGREES Project is led by Marcellene Watson-Derbigny, associate vice president, Student Retention and Academic Success; and Viridiana Diaz, director of the Collage Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), co-director of the DEGREES Project and assistant to the president at the Serna Center.

For more information, visit the DEGREES website or call (916) 278-6183. Additional information about Perry is available at For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156. – Craig Koscho