Celebrating the Class of 2014
By Christine Vaughan
More than 18,000 guests celebrated the academic achievements and perseverance of CSUSM’s 2,600 graduates at four Commencement Ceremonies held on campus on Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25.
The ceremonies, which were originally slated to take place May 16-17, were cancelled due to the wildfires directly impacting the campus and surrounding community.
“I am so grateful that we — all of us! — are here today on this beautiful campus that was thankfully unharmed by last week’s fires and that we can celebrate – together – the joys that commencement ceremonies always bring,” said CSUSM President Karen Haynes in her remarks to students and guests.
Notably, 52 percent of CSUSM’s graduates were the first in their family to earn a bachelor’s degree. The Class of 2014 also boasted other impressive points of pride, including the most veterans in a graduating class, 146, and the largest cohort of ACE Scholars with eight former foster youth earning degrees. One in six undergraduates earned academic honors with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
“Today is a day to reflect on the past obstacles you have overcome, relive the joyous memories you have created, celebrate your accomplishments and be inspired by the possibilities of the future,” said chemistry graduate Dominica Ranieri. “We are the innovators of the future, and today we sit here not as students, but as members of society who have transitioned into mathematicians and scientists without even knowing it.”
At Sunday morning’s College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences ceremony, Chancellor Timothy White presented CSU Student Trustee Cipriano Vargas with bachelor degrees in sociology and women’s studies. Vargas has represented the California State University system’s 447,000 students as one of two appointed student trustees since 2011.
“This was such a precious moment that I will remember forever,” said Vargas. “Chancellor White was a first-generation college student, as were others who stood with me on the platform including President Haynes, Provost Oberem and Vice President Meza. I have felt incredibly supported during my time at CSUSM and hope to be an inspiration for others who feel challenged to get in to college or get through college.”
View the Photo Albums and Watch the Full Length Ceremonies: