SSU's Commencement Ceremonies Launch Class of 2014 on May 10

gradgirl.pngSonoma State University will award diplomas to the Class of 2014 at its annual commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 10. Approximately 2,000 are expected to walk for their diplomas with their families and friends watching.

The event historically draws more than 10,000 people to the Commencement Lawn on the Rohnert Park campus. The event will be held rain or shine.

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

During and after, the ceremony can be viewed by visiting SSU's streaming media web site at for those who wish to watch it from off-campus or after the ceremonies.

Those on campus Saturday can view it on the third floor of the Student Center in the main ballroom.

brauna.pngKeynote speaker for both the morning and afternoon ceremony is social entrepreneur Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise, which In four short years built close to 200 schools around the world and delivered more than 12 million educational hours.

He was selected as one of the first ten World Economic Forum Global Shapers and now speaks often on leadership, innovations in education, managing millennials, and the rise of purpose-driven lives and careers.

heckg.pngAn honorary Doctor of Humane Letters will be presented at the afternoon ceremony to wine industry icon Gary Heck, who is recognized not only for his business success but also for his leadership and integrity.

Over the past 18 years, his support and belief in the mission of the University has been pivotal to the success of Sonoma State's Wine Business Institute. Most recently, Heck made a generous $1 million commitment to support the new home of the Wine Business Institute.

Dr. William Silver, Dean of the School of Business and economics says, "Gary has made a tremendous difference, not only in business and industry, but more importantly, in our community. His legacy of leadership and generosity has touched and enriched many lives."

Members of the University community and general public are invited to take part in or support the Class of 2014 graduates by attending any or all of the four cultural graduation celebrations planned the week before Commencement.

For the first time, a group reception for all of the ceremonies will be held on Friday, May 9 at 8 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. This event includes all the graduates from the four ceremonies, family and friends, and faculty and staff who wish to attend.

The group reception will highlight various performance groups that have representation from all the different ethnicities at SSU. Food created by Chef Eric Lee will feature the cultural backgrounds of the students and families that attend the graduation.

For more details, visit

For further information, visit the Commencement 2014 Web site at

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