What's to Come During the 2005 Commencement
students head for the stage
April 5, 2005 2:27 PM
While many SF State seniors are looking forward to graduation, administrators making commencement preparations still have no word on who will be this year’s speakers.
And as SF State students anticipate their final months of school until graduation day, the graduates of 2005 are wondering what to expect.
SF State’s 104th commencement will take place, rain or shine, in at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 28 at Cox Stadium.
“The minute we know who the speakers are, we place the list on the website,” said Norma Siani, SF State director of special events. “But we usually don’t know this information until the latter part of April or the first part of May.”
According to Siani, SF State President Robert Corrigan will provide information on who the speakers will be as soon as the information is available.
Rizwana Shah, a 23-year-old graduating psychology major, has a wish list of speakers she would like to see at this year’s commencement.
“I have a (few) suggestions about who should speak at the commencement: Bill Clinton, Condoleeza Rice, and Bill Gates,” said Shah. “They are inspirational people who have been through many ups and downs in life.”
Last year, some of the honored guests invited to speak at the commencement were former Mayor Willie Brown and alumnus of the year Chris Larson, co-founder and CEO of the online company E-Loan. Larson created the Larson Scholarship, which awards $2,500 to 10 students who are working toward a teaching credential or a master’s degree in education.
Graduates are required to wear a cap and gown rented or purchased from the SF State Bookstore. All graduates can keep their cap and tassel, but are required to return their gowns following the ceremony on May 28.
The ceremony will begin with a speech given by SF State President Robert Corrigan. The rest of the ceremony will include invited speakers, and be completed with the distribution of diploma covers.
During the ceremony the diploma covers are handed to the graduates without certificates. The graduates will receive their diploma six to eight weeks after the ceremony if they have successfully completed their course work.
About 4,000 graduates are expected to attend the commencement, and an additional 20,000 family and friends will fill up Cox Stadium’s bleachers, said Siani.
Graduates can invite up to five guests, and will be given their guest tickets at the SF State bookstore when they pick up their caps and gowns. One ticket is required for every person needing a seat. Extra tickets will be left at the bookstore, and will be distributed to graduates who sign up for them on a first-come-first-serve basis.
In addition to the graduation ceremony, there is a Honors Convocation, available to students by special invitation only. Each college selects one qualifying honor student to be a hooded recipient and only the top seven percent of students with the highest grade point average (GPA) will qualify.
There is not a specific GPA set for qualification because each college has its own standards. Corrigan’s office will send out invitations in early April. The Honors Convocation will take place on Thursday, May 26 in McKenna Theater at SF State.
The hooded recipients will make a speech and then are draped with a hood lined with the university colors by their college’s dean.
Stephanie Schwartz, executive assistant to Provost John Gemello and organizer of the Honors Convocation, said most of the speeches are inspirational.
“Some speeches include hardships, language barriers, and other challenges that students have to overcome to get through their college education,” said Schwartz. “These are humanitarian stories of students who are going to go beyond SF State.”
Academic counselors recommend that students planning to graduate should look over the undergraduate basic graduation requirements, such as the Online Advancement of Student Information Skills (OASIS).
OASIS is designed to help students navigate through information technology, and students can access a tutorial online at the school’s Web site. Freshman students should complete OASIS by the end of their second semester and transfer students should complete the requirement by the end of their first semester in order to keep priority registration. OASIS must be completed in order to receive a diploma.
The latest information on the 2005 commencement ceremony can be found at the SF State Web site or the SF State Commencement Web site at http://www.sfsu.edu/commencement/
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