Commencement Only the Beginning for Class of 2013

Graduating Students Celebrating at CommencementCSU Stanislaus added more than 2,800 graduates to push its alumni base well past 50,000 during three commencement ceremonies last month.

Approximately 800 doctoral, master's and credential students participated in a commencement ceremony May 30, the first time a third ceremony was added to the festivities. The 2,000 students receiving bachelor's degrees did so in a pair of ceremonies on May 31.

The university's 53rd annual commencement was the first for new President Joseph F. Sheley, who was named interim president last summer and appointed as president by the CSU Board of Trustees in May. In his remarks, Sheley offered encouragement to graduates entering a challenging job market.

"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," Sheley said. "Stanislaus graduates are well known for their practical approach to professional responsibilities, no matter what their major. Employers love our grads. They hit the ground running."

Patrick Akin, receiving his bachelor's degree in biological science and offering the student speaker remarks at the final ceremony, likened his graduating class to a family.

"In the big picture, we are lucky to be here, to receive an education and possess a degree from a university," Akin said. "Not everyone is as fortunate as we are. This unique day has brought us all together, as a community and as a family. We have a chance to become invested in one another for our security and well being. It starts here, today."

The university also began a new tradition of honoring Golden Grads, those who graduated 50 years ago. Two members of the Class of 1963 were on hand during the ceremonies: Sue Smith and Myrle Wall.

For more stories and photo albums from this year's commencement ceremonies, visit our #StanGrad page.