CSUSB celebrates diversity of its Class of 2017 at graduate recognition ceremonies
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Cal State San Bernardino celebrated its commitment to diversity and its upcoming commencement ceremonies as the university honored its African-American, Students with Disabilities, Dreamers, Latinos, LGBTQA and military veteran students who will graduate this June.
The celebrations began on May 21, when the university held the fourth annual Lavender Graduation Ceremony, celebrating the LGBTQA community at CSUSB, recognizing the graduates, staff and faculty accomplishments. About 40 graduating students were honored. The keynote speaker was Gabriel Maldonado, founder and CEO of TruEvolution, which was founded in 2008 as a response to the growing disparities faced by the LGBT community in the Inland Empire.
On June 2, the second annual Dreamers Graduation Ceremony acknowledged and celebrated the accomplishments of undocumented students. About 35 students participated in the celebration each receiving a certificate of accomplishment and a special medallion to wear with their commencement robes.
On June 7, the Office of Services to Students with Disabilities held its inaugural graduation celebration for 26 students. in the university’s Lower Commons. Along with certificates of achievement, students who met the grade point average requirements received honor cords and pins from Delta Alpha Pi National Honor Society for Students with Disabilities. Connie McReynolds, director of the university’s Institute of Research, Assessment and Professional Research and a professor of rehabilitation counseling, gave the keynote address.
On June 9, the CSUSB Dreamers Graduation Ceremony hosted the Veterans Graduation Ceremony, honoring 76 graduating student veterans. The ceremony was held at the Obershaw Dining Room in the university’s Upper Commons with music professor Robert Knop, chair of the CSUSB Music Department and a veteran, giving the keynote address.
On June 10, the Black Faculty, Staff and Student Association held its 24th annual Black Graduation and Recognition Ceremony at Coussoulis Arena, where about 80 students participated in the celebration that recognized the achievements of CSUSB African American students with festive musical presentations and a keynote address by Cassandra Butcher, who will graduate in June with a degree in liberal studies. The students also received a commemorative Kente cloth to wear with their graduation robes.
Earlier that day, the Association of Latino Faculty, Staff and Students celebrated its 11th annual Latino Graduate Recognition Ceremony, also at Coussoulis Arena. About 800 students participated in the ceremony. The keynote speaker was civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez, whose parents were plaintiffs in the landmark Mendez v. Westminster School District (1947) case that paved the way for Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and ended school segregation in California. On Feb. 15, 2011, President Barack Obama presented Mendez with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.
Cal State San Bernardino’s Commencement exercises will be on June 15 at its Palm Desert Campus, where 308 students are expected to participate and then on June 17 at the Citizen’s Business Bank Arena in Ontario, where nearly 2,900 students from the university’s five colleges are expected to participate in four graduation ceremonies.