SF States Students Graduate in Record Numbers
May 23, 2005 4:33 PM
The big smiles on SF State graduates’ faces are not the only big thing an expected 20,000 guests will see on commencement day. SF State will celebrate this year’s commencement with a record-breaking number of graduates and two honored alumni.
The 104th commencement will feature 7,763 students, the largest graduating class in the university’s history. During the ceremony, Manny Mashouf, founder and chairman of the board of bebe Stores, Inc., will be honored as 2005's Alumnus of the Year. The invited keynote speaker will be 2003 Alumnus of the Year Ben Fong-Torres, a former editor at “Rolling Stone” magazine and a Bay area radio personality.
Student Natasha Lee Scholtz will represent undergraduates in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Scholtz is an economics major who has maintained a 3.83 grade point average while working full time, the highest GPA of any student majoring in economics this year.
Department chair Philip King, who nominated Scholtz, said she personifies what makes SF State special.
In a memo sent to BSS Dean Joel Kassiola, King writes:
“(Scholtz) has been universally praised by faculty in economics as one of our best students with a fine, inquiring mind, not just someone who focuses on exams and grades.”
Apart from working full time, Scholtz has volunteered at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, where she gave tours to inner city children, coaches girls softball, and tutors other undergraduates.
Scholtz said she tries to help her community as much as possible but feels the time she has to offer is limited. She said the faculty and staff have been very supportive throughout her four years at SF State, and she is fortunate to have interacted with many of them.
“I am completely honored,” said Scholtz. “Everyone here works really hard, and having gone through it myself I am excited to be representing the college of BSS, the economics department and being a part of the class of 2005.”
King also wrote this was the first time students have come up to him and urged him to nominate a particular student.
The department has not received a hood award in the last 18 years.
The commencement ceremony will take place rain or shine in Cox Stadium on Saturday, May 28 at 1 p.m. and will last about three hours.
Mashouf, who will also briefly speak at the 2005 ceremony, earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1966. In 1976 he opened the first bebe boutique on Polk Street, and now has over 200 shops throughout the United States and Canada. He also serves on SF State’s College of Business advisory board.
Mashouf, when inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame in 2003, said:
“I’m very, very fortunate to have experienced my last few years of college education at this campus in the ‘60s,” Mashouf said at his 2003 induction into the SF State Alumni Hall of Fame. “Those were very special times for San Francisco, for me, and I think for America. I have so many wonderful memories that will fuel and stimulate my thought process for many years to come.”
Fong-Torres said he found it very easy to accept SF State's President Robert Corrigan’s invitation to speak at this year commencement ceremony.
“An event like this is valued,” said Fong-Torres. “I’ve always appreciated all the teachers. They were always there to offer a word of encouragement.”
Fong-Torres attended SF State from 1962 through 1966, earning a bachelor’s degree in radio, television and film. During his time at SF State he served on the student newspaper, the Daily Gator, as a junior reporter, then moved up to city editor, and later became the top editor.
“It was so rewarding to see the paper come out daily,” said Fong-Torres. “Those were tumultuous times.”
During his stay at the publication Fong-Torres said there was a constant flow of news.
“There was the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and the third world liberation front,” said Fong-Torres. “All these things were constantly going on. It was a swirl of activity.”
In 1968 Fong-Torres began writing for Rolling Stone, where he worked with the future chair of the school’s journalism department, John Burks.
“Ben is a hell of an interviewer,” said Burks. “He always had a clear focus of what he wanted to do.
Temistocles Narvios, a creative writing major planning to attend the ceremony, said he will be looking forward to Fong-Torres’s speech.
“It will be inspirational to see a once-fledgling writer out there,” said Narvios.
Although the names of graduates will not be announced at the ceremony, Narvios is happy to be graduating.
“The feeling that I survived my four years here is an achievement, as opposed to the people who end up droping out,” said Narvios.
Students who still need to rent their caps and gown can do so over the phone for an extra $15 charge by calling (415) 338-BOOK now through May 26. Phone orders can be picked up from the bookstore’s Textbook Department May 26-27. A bachelor’s degree cap and gown regalia rental costs $42.95 and $55.95 for the masters’ degree regalia.
While picking up their regalia graduates will receive five guest tickets.
Students can pick up their regalia from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 19 and May 23-26, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information on 2005 commencement, visit http://www.sfsu.edu/commencement/ .
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