Thousands Gather to Honor Graduates from the College of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in the First of Four Ceremonies
May 28, 2024
Interim President Sue Borrego addresses graduates.

Under a bright blue sky, with well-wishers, onlookers, families and friends on hand, Stanislaus State kicked off the first of four Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2024 on Tuesday, May 28. The ceremonies celebrated graduates from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Thousands of family members, friends, loved ones, supporters and guests filled the outdoor University Amphitheater to honor graduates for completing their degree. The in-person festivities were livestreamed on YouTube. 

During her address, Interim President Susan Borrego, who joined the University last August, praised the graduates and gave a special call out to those who are the first in their family to graduate and earn a college degree. 

“I’ve been in higher education for more than 30 years, and one of my favorite days is Commencement,” Borrego said. “It signifies the accomplishment you worked so hard to attain. Today, we are all here to celebrate your achievement. I’ve met first-generation college students and alumni who initially didn’t think about pursuing a degree, and now they are teachers, nurses, farmers, counselors, business leaders, executives and administrators.  

“They come from different walks of life, but they all have this in common: They are Stan State graduates, and they constantly and consistently express their gratitude for the opportunities they had at Stan State.” 

Pride and persistence were common themes of the day’s speakers. 

In his speech to fellow College of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences peers, student speaker Frank Alvarado, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, spoke about the challenges he faced as he shared his college journey as an older student. 

student speaker Frank Alvarado
Student Speaker, Frank Alvarado

“As I stand here, surrounded by the energy and aspirations of my fellow graduates, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and pride,” Alvarado said. “Graduating from college at age 50 is not merely a personal achievement but a testament to the power of perseverance and the boundless value of education. 

“I wanted to show my children that age is never a barrier to learning and growth. It is never too late to pursue your dreams and broaden your horizons. The journey was not easy. There were moments of doubt, moments of exhaustion, moments when the weight of responsibility felt overwhelming. But with each obstacle, I found strength I never knew I had. I discovered resilience in the face of adversity and learned that true empowerment comes from within.” 

Also recognized during the ceremony were the college’s two Metzger-Geiger Award recipients, Ciera Denny, who is receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Raveena Bola, who completed a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. The Metzger-Geiger Award is given to graduating students with the highest undergraduate grade-point average based on coursework completed at Stan State. 

This week during Commencement, Stan State will recognize more than 3,371 graduates and 322 credential recipients and host more than 20,000 guests over four days. Ceremonies for the College of Science, College of Education, Kinesiology and Social Work and College of Business Administration will take place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, respectively.  

View Commencement ceremonies and photo galleries.

commencement caps