CSU Stanislaus welcomed more than 2,500 graduating students last month to an alumni base that now numbers more than 54,000. Three commencement ceremonies over a two-day span highlighted the impact the university has on the region’s students and the impact of its graduates on the region.
A pair of morning ceremonies on May 29 and 30 each recognized more than 950 students receiving undergraduate degrees, while an additional 600 students eligible for graduate degrees — including doctoral and master’s degrees, as well as teaching credentials — took part in an evening ceremony on the 29th.
President Joseph F. Sheley, in his remarks during the second undergraduate ceremony, began by highlighting the many different Central Valley communities represented in the Class of 2014 at CSU Stanislaus — from Turlock and Modesto to Crows Landing and Jamestown.
“This is a campus that holds a whole region’s dreams,” Sheley said. “The region comes together right here and speaks with a single voice about our shared interests and about the pride we have and the hope we place in our graduates.”
Jessie Guerrero, receiving her Doctorate of Education, addressed her fellow doctoral, master’s and credential graduates during the Thursday evening ceremony.
“All of us will use our accumulated knowledge, experiences, expertise and skills in one way or another during the next phase of our lives and steps of our careers,” Guerrero said. “Whatever decisions we choose to make, we recognize that perseverance and hard work pay off, and the high-quality, rigorous education programs we have completed have prepared us well to be leaders.”
Nursing student Kristi Carson, one of three student speakers chosen for the ceremonies, extended thanks to the many friends, family members and other supporters in attendance and credited them for the greater impact the Class of 2014 will have on the Central Valley.
“Even now, as we move beyond this day, beyond this accomplishment, and in the spirit of this distinguished university, we set about making the greatest possible contribution to our community,” Carson said. “Each time we reach a hand out to help another, it will forever be an extension of your hands, reaching out to help us. It is for this honor that we will be forever grateful.”
Clive Riddle, who graduated from CSU Stanislaus in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and returned to get his Master of Public Administration degree before launching a successful career in the health care publishing industry, addressed the graduate students on behalf of the Alumni Association.
“I tell you, my new fellow alums, take pride in this university,” Riddle said. “And remember that degrees from Harvard or Stanford might open certain doors, but a degree from CSU Stanislaus will keep you poised to find and enter through the windows — the unexpected windows of opportunity — that await you throughout your career and life.”