Public Affairs, The California State University

Did You Know…

Commencement 2013

From unique locations to pioneering students, each of the 23 CSU campuses has features that set it apart from every other university. Below is a compilation of unique, graduation-based facts about each campus’ commencement ceremony and the class of 2013.

Did you know that…

  • Cal State L.A.’s youngest graduate this year is 15-year old Rena Nakasaka.
  • Actress Eva Longoria graduated from CSU Northridge this year with a master’s degree in Chicana/o Studies.
  • After this year, the CSU will have nearly 3 million alumni.
  • The oldest graduate at Cal State San Marcos history, 90-year-old Wally Taibleson, earned his third master’s degree this year.
  • Of all the Hispanics who earn bachelor’s degrees in California, 57% receive their degree from a CSU.
  • Fresno State awarded an honorary doctorate to T. Alan Hurwitz, the first deaf honorary doctorate recipient in the CSU.
  • 70% of graduates who are registered to walk at Cal State San Bernardino’s commencement are the first in their families to complete college.
  • The 2013 Cal State Monterey Bay graduates come from 21 states and 15 countries—three of them are from Africa (Somalia, Eritrea, Cameroon).
  • Dale Carlsen, the founder of Sleep Train Mattress Centers Inc., received an honorary doctorate from Sacramento State.
  • CSU Stanislaus started a new tradition this year to honor Golden Grads (alumni who graduated 50 years prior) at commencement.
  • Cal Maritime’s initial class in the new master’s program in Transportation and Engineering Management graduated this year.
  • One of CSU Channel Island’s commencement traditions is a welcome in two languages, which symbolizes the university’s commitment to graduating students with multicultural and international perspectives.
  • 45.4% of San Diego State students who are expected to receive their bachelor’s degree in spring 2013 are the first in their family to graduate from college.
  • In honor of Humboldt State’s 100th anniversary, the university had faculty member Stephen F. Cunha portray Baron Alexander von Humboldt to serve as the 2013 HSU Centennial commencement keynote speaker.
  • This is Chico State’s 123rd commencement ceremony; the first graduating class was the Chico Normal School Class of 1891.
  • With more than 8,700 graduates, San Francisco State’s class of 2013 is the largest graduating class in SFSU’s history.
  • Marc Cherry, creator and executive producer of ABC’s Desperate Housewives, was one of Cal State Fullerton’s keynote speakers.
  • San José State’s mascot—Sammy the Spartan—graduated this year; he got fitted for his cap and gown and even participated in the graduation festivities.
  • Kumar Malavalli, CSU East Bay’s 2013 honorary doctorate recipient, began his philanthropic endeavors in education by creating digital learning centers in rural parts of his native India.
  • Cal State Bakersfield graduated Maria Luevanos this year—a student who came to the U.S. knowing no English, worked under the blistering sun picking fruit and fought to maintain the health of her disabled son.
  • CSU Dominguez Hills’ keynote speaker—John Chiang, California State Controller—expressed how “what [each graduate has] done, not only in the classroom but elsewhere, is absolutely awe inspiring.”
  • Cal State Long Beach conferred more than 8,600 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees to graduates for the 2012-13 academic year.
  • 2013 marks the 30th Annual Raza Graduation Celebration at Sonoma State where students of Native American, Latino or Chicano heritage (many of whom are first-generation college grads) personally thank those who have helped them achieve a college degree.
  • Commencement 2013 is Cal Poly Pomona’s 57th annual commencement ceremony.
  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo awarded three honorary doctorates this year: James W. Boswell, Alfred Qöyawayma and Cotton Rosser.

For more interesting graduation facts, visit 100,000 Graduates Strong.