Graduation, a culminating event for educationally battered students, is only a few days away.
“It’s finally here!” said Rachael Anderson, who has been at SF State for five years after changing majors from geography to psychology.
The graduation ceremony this year, rain or shine, will be held May 29 in Cox Stadium. Though beach balls, smoking, and drinking are prohibited at the event, they are usually there in one form or another, according to recently graduated alumni.
Special guests include Vartan Gregorian, who will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Gregorian is known for his work as president of both the New York Pubic Libraries and Brown University.
Additional honorees include alumnus and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who will receive an honorary doctorate of laws degree, SF State business communications professor Gary Selnow, receiving the Presidential Medal of Honor, and Chris Larsen, co-founder and CEO of the online lending company E-loan. These honorees are the alumni of the year.
Student participants are expected to wear a cap and gown, which can be rented or bought from the campus bookstore. Garments can be obtained up until May 27, two days before the ceremony.
“I will always keep my cap and tassel, though it is already gathering dust,” said Michael Smith, a cinema major who graduated in 2003.
Flowers can be purchased on campus the day of the ceremony. Last year purple orchid leis ran between $15 and $20.
A professional photography firm, Chappell-Aardvark Studios, has been hired by SF State and offers picture packages, including a photo of the graduate shaking hands with President Corrigan or the dean of their college.
A video of the ceremony is also available. To obtain a copy, reservations must be made with the Library’s media access center by calling 415-338-1229.
Each college or individual department has a reception, either pre- or post- ceremony. Information regarding these events can be found on the university's Web site or by calling the department of interest.
“Many students skip the main ceremony and chose to just attend one put on by their department,” said student adviser Greg Ryan.
Though approximately 3,659 students applied for graduation this semester, only one-third to half will actually graduate, according to Michael Garrity of the university’s institutional research department.
While students' graduation status will not be disclosed until a few months later when grades come out, this does not prohibit them from participating in the ceremony.