Cultural graduation celebrations recognize students

In Campus News, News
As Cal State Fullerton students switch their gears into finals mode and prepare for graduation, Fullerton will jump-start commencement with a series of special events in recognition of students completing their degrees and credentials. 

Kicking off the celebration was the Asian and Pacific Islander Graduate Recognition Ceremony Saturday in the Portola Pavilion of the Titan Student Union.

During the ceremony, C.C. Yin, founder and chairman of Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA), and Yin McDonalds gave a keynote speech to students.

“The ceremony gave us a chance to invite as many people as we want, as opposed to just the seven tickets that the school gives us. We had interesting speakers and a performance by the Vietnamese Club of traditional dance and it was cool,” said Davis Legaspi, 21, a kinesiology major.

In addition, Juliane Nguyen, the AAPIFSA Outstanding API Graduate Award recipient, gave a short speech and Juliane Nguyen and Chadwick Vargas, the Craig and Claire Ihara Outstanding Asian American Studies Award recipients, were also recognized.

“The ninth Asian and Pacific Islander Graduate Recognition Ceremony was a huge success with more than 175 students in attendance. It was put together by a committee of volunteers from the Asian American Pacific Islander Faculty & Staff Association (AAPIFSA), together with the Multicultural Leadership Center and support from the Asian American Studies program,” said Argus Tong, vice president and assistant director of Programs & Events.

Thursday at 7 p.m., in the Portola Pavilion of the TSU as well, the LGBT Pride Recognition Ceremony will take place with guest speaker Sheila Kuehl, president of Kuehl Consulting,  former state senator and assemblywoman and co-author of Safe At School: Addressing the School Environment and LGBT Safety Through Policy and Legislation. Kuehl is also co-trainer for the Institute for Elected Women: California and a distinguished policy fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs.

The Pilipino American Graduation Celebration will take place Friday, with guest speaker Roselyn Estepa Ibanez, a member of the Filipino American Library Board, Los Angeles County Community Action Board and Carson’s Ad Hoc Organizing Committee to Establish a Civic Engagement Board. The Pan-African Student Recognition Ceremony will be celebrated Saturday on the lawn adjacent to the Engineering and Computer Science Building.

The Chicano/Latino Graduation Celebration will take place Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in the Portola Pavilion of the TSU. The event will include a dinner in which guests may purchase tickets for $30 at the Chicano Resource Center in Room 171 of the Pollak Library.

This year’s graduation will consist of student keynote speakers. It is open to any and all Latino students who are graduating, regardless of degree type, as well as students who are receiving teaching credentials — for example, bilingual teaching credentials.

“It’s really open to any student who is interested in attending but is primarily to recognize Latino students who have really succeeded and put in the effort, overcoming any financial circumstances or issues from their communities,” said Elizabeth Suarez, Ph.D., Chicano Resource Center coordinator.

“It’s a nice event to recognize these students and for them to also recognize themselves, each other and their families for all support they have been given throughout their educational career.”

The Cal State Fullerton Army ROTIC, “Titan Battalion,” will hold its Commissioning Ceremony Friday, May 20 at 10 a.m. by the Computer Science lawn. The ceremony will begin with the Presentation of the Colors (the “colors” refer to the red, white and blue colors of our American flag and the colors of an organization’s flag), a ceremony that formally introduces and later retires these flags from an assembly of people. It will also include remarks by keynote speaker Maj. Gen. (Retired) Paul D. Mock and will be followed by the actual commissioning ceremony.

The ceremony begins with the commissioning cadets taking the Oath of Office, a pinning of the second lieutenant rank, and followed by their first salute from a non-commissioned officer (NCO) of their choosing.

Saturday will also be the celebration of the Credential Commencement Ceremony in Titan Gym, with student speaker Wendy Agredano of Anaheim, who is completing her studies for a multiple subject credential. The Honors Convocation will also take place Saturday in the Meng Concert Hall of the university’s Clayes Performing Arts Center.

CSUF’s 2011 Commencement ceremonies will be held May 21 and 22 throughout campus, beginning at 8 a.m. on the lawn north of Titan Gym.

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