Class of 2012 Celebrates at 50th Anniversary Commencement Ceremonies

graduation-hat.jpegSonoma State will award diplomas to the Class of 2012 at an historic 50th Anniversary commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 12 on the Rohnert Park campus. Approximately 2,300 students are eligible to walk for their diplomas as their families and friends watch. The event historically draws more than 10,000 people to the Commencement lawn. The ceremonies will be held rain or shine.

Ceremonies are scheduled at 9 a.m. for the Schools of Science and Technology and the Social Sciences and at 3 p.m. for the Schools of Education, Arts and Humanities, and Business and Economics.

They can be viewed live online by following a link to be available that day on SSU's homepage ( It will be archived for later viewing at

Keynote speaker for both ceremonies is Dr. Marc Lamont Hill who is one of the leading hip-hop generation intellectuals in the country. His work, which covers topics such as culture, politics, and education, has appeared in numerous journals, magazines, books, and anthologies. Dr. Hill has lectured widely and provides regular commentary for media outlets like NPR, Washington Post, Essence Magazine, and the New York Times. Since 2009 he has been on the faculty of Columbia University as Associate Professor of Education at Teachers College.

Trained as an anthropologist of education, Dr. Hill holds a Ph.D. (with distinction) from the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the intersections between culture, politics, and education. He is particularly interested in locating various sites of possibility for political resistance, identity work, and knowledge production outside of formal schooling contexts. Particular sites of inquiry include prisons, Black bookstores, and youth cultural productions.

Honorary degrees will be presented to both Sanford I. Weill, (Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters), and his wife Joan Weill, (Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts). As the major donors of $12 million to the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall, Lawn and Commons at the Donald and Maureen Green Music Center at SSU they have shared not only their resources but the strength of their leadership and experience to lead the project to near completion. They receive these awards in recognition of their many contributions to their community and their promotion of education and the arts.

Student commencement speakers are Amber Coyne for the morning ceremony and Alison Sutton for the afternoon ceremony. Coyne is graduating as a Presidential Scholar with a 4.0 GPA with a B.S. in biology. She plans to get her master's degree in public health as well a medical degree in order to become a pediatrician. Sutton is receiving her B.A. in communications and plans to take her passion for public relations to either reputation or crisis management.

Prior to the May 12 ceremonies, four special celebrations take place on the SSU campus to acknowledge the accomplishments of students of diverse cultural backgrounds and orientations. See details at

For more information, visit the Commencement 2012 website at

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