Sonoma State University will award diplomas to the Class of 2011 at its annual commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 28. Approximately 2,000 are expected to walk for their diplomas with their families and friends watching. The event historically draws morethan 10,000 people to the Commencement Lawn, and will be held rain or shine.
Ceremonies are scheduled at 9 a.m. for the Schools of Education, Arts and Humanities, and Business and Economics, and at 3 p.m. for the Schools of Science and Technology, and Social Sciences.
The ceremony can be viewed live online by following a link Saturday on SSU's homepage.
It will be archived for later viewing at streaming.sonoma.edu.
The keynote speaker for both ceremonies will be Morgan Spurlock, an award-winning writer, director, and producer best known for his immersive explorations of social issues. His first feature length film, "Super Size Me," received an Academy Award nomination for best feature documentary in 2005, and his most recent film, "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold," is currently playing in theatres nationwide.
Student commencement speakers are Nathanial Garrod for the morning ceremony, and Daisy Meyer for the afternoon ceremony. Garrod will earn his B.A. in English and is pursuing a master's degree in college student development at Oklahoma State University in the fall. Meyer is receiving her B.A. in environmental studies and planning, and is currently in the process of applying to the Peace Corps.
An Honorary Degree will be presented at the afternoon ceremony to Robert A. Johnson, a strong supporter of sustainability with a long legacy in agriculture and land management. He and his late wife Sue, along with her sister Nancy and husband Cleve Jones, were instrumental in the generous donation to Sonoma State University of the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve in southern Mendocino County in 2004.
Prior to the May 28 ceremonies, four special graduation celebrations will take place on the Sonoma State University campus. These special ceremonies are to acknowledge the accomplishments of students of diverse cultural backgrounds and orientations.
Members of the University community and general public are invited to take part in or support the graduates by attending any of the following celebrations. Those interested in doing so should RSVP to the appropriate contact person listed below.
The Rainbow Graduation Celebration, taking place Thursday, May 26 at 7 p.m. in the Green Music Center's Prelude, is a time for the queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, intersex, questioning, same-gender-loving people and their friends, family, and allies of Sonoma State University to come together to celebrate the accomplishments of the last year and to recognize those moving on to the next chapter in their lives. Questions and RSVPs may be directed to Julie Greathouse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Asian Pacific Islander Graduation Celebration, taking place Friday, May 27 at 4 p.m. in the Cooperage, complements the main commencement in that it specifically acknowledges and celebrates Pacific Islander/Asian American graduates and their families. Questions and RSVPs may be directed to JP Villafuerte at email@example.com.
The 28th Annual Raza Graduation Celebration takes place Friday, May 27 at 6 p.m. in the Green Music Center. Each year graduating Sonoma State University students ofNative American, Latino or Chicano heritage gather for the La Raza graduation. Many of the graduates participating in the La Raza ceremony are first-generation college grads, and this special celebration allows them to personally thank those who have gone out of their way to work with the students and help them achieve their goal of a college degree. Questions and RSVPs may be directed to Kelly Hodgins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 19th Annual Black Graduation Celebration, taking place Friday, May 27 at 6 p.m. at the Green Music Center's Wedding Lawn and Prelude, is an opportunity for the University to acknowledge the achievements of African-American students, and for the students to thank their families, friends, faculty and mentors. Questions and RSVPs may be directed to Ashley Yarbrough at email@example.com.
For more information, visit the Commencement 2011 website at http://www.sonoma.edu/uaffairs/commencement/.