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Transcript of SFSU's May 25 Commencement


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But while you have been students here, you have gained much of your academic and your personal strength from your vital partners in the university life, our outstanding faculty, who are men and women of principle, intellectual distinction, who have cared deeply about you. They sit facing you now, sharing my pride in your many achievements, and watching with mixed emotions as you prepare to leave us.

So I would like you to join me now in a round of applause for these faculty members who have given so much of themselves to you.


ANNOUNCER: Now vice president of student affairs and dean of students, Penny Saffold, will introduce the student speaker.

VICE PRES. SAFFOLD: Thank you. As befits a native of this international city, Glendy Chan is a young woman with a world view. After graduating from Lowell High School, Glendy entered San Francisco State University as one of 25 presidential scholars.

Fluent in Chinese and German, she has combined her love of language and interest in business to prepare for a career that she hopes will be richly international. Glendy graduates today with a degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting and a minor in German.

Glendy has emerged as a student leader at San Francisco State. She served as an officer of the National Business Society and president of the German Club. Also, she is the unofficial president of the 2002 graduating class of presidential scholars.

In addition to excelling as a student leader and a scholar, Glendy holds numerous merit scholarships. She has also demonstrated a commitment to community service. For example, while working with the Internal Revenue Service's volunteer income tax assistant program, she has helped many students and staff here on campus prepare their tax returns. Moreover, while pursuing her minor in German, Glendy earned an international business German certificate. And last semester, won an internship to work for Deutsche Bank, a leading international financial services firm in Germany.

Her international experience was so rewarding that Glendy has decided to pursue her dream of working on foreign assignments with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, a leading CPA firm, where she will begin working in July.

President Corrigan, I am very pleased to present Glendy Chan, the hood recipient for the College of Business, who will speak on behalf of the class of 2002.


GLENDY CHAN: Greetings! On behalf of the students, I'd like to thank the school, family and friends, and, of course, former teachers, who have made this day possible.

We couldn't have reached this without you. You know, to tell you the truth, I was pretty surprised that I was selected to speak today, because, after all, I am an accounting student, and most people think accountants are boring beancounters who add up columns of numbers for fun and speak in their own language full of jargon like "generally-accepted accounting principles," "debits and credits," "assets equals liabilities plus owner's equity." That's the traditional image of an accountant.

But, you know, the tide is turning the other way now. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, accounting is now considered hip, and dare I say it, "just a bit sexy," because of the Enron scandal. But whether accountants are boring or hip is really beside the point, because both images are stereotypes. And let me give you a personal example.

In my senior-year class popularity poll, I was voted for quietest, bookworm, and I placed second for shyest.

On one hand, I was secretly happy that so many people knew me to vote me for these positions. But then I was disappointed on the other hand, disappointed that that was all they saw in me. So the message I want to share with you today is that we should not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us.


GLENDY CHAN: We all know that we're more interesting and multi-faceted than the stereotypes commonly held about us. The power in knowing ourselves is that once we do, we can start working positively towards our goals.

San Francisco State, I believe, has played a key role in our journeys of self-discovery. On this campus, we experimented with different majors until we found one that fit. At San Francisco State, where diversity is celebrated, each of us had a chance to shine and succeed as individuals. Yes, I believe that diversity is this campus's most valuable intangible asset, because it adds a splash of color into our lives and teaches us day by day to be flexible communicators who are tolerant of different viewpoints.

Most importantly, this is the place where we learn to find our voice.

In our lifelong quest to know ourselves, San Francisco State is just the beginning. So when we graduate and step off this campus with degrees in hand, we should trust and believe in who we are, because San Francisco State has equipped us well for each of our journeys of self-discovery.

So in closing, I would like to leave you with some words from the peace-loving and truth-seeking Mahatma Gandhi, who once said, "You will be all right if you are fully yourself."

Thank you, and congratulations, class of 2002.


PRES. CORRIGAN: Thank you, Ms. Chan. I think the respect for accountants has just gone up by ten percent on this campus. And we're so delighted.

ANNOUNCER: And now, ladies and gentlemen, Vice President John Gemello will present the emeritus faculty.

VICE PRES. GEMELLO: It is appropriate at a commencement that we mark the contribution of those faculty who, like our graduates, are leaving the University. These individuals have served with distinction, and upon their retirement, are being granted emeritus status.

Mr. President, I am pleased to present them to you today.

Will the faculty emeriti please rise as I call their names.

Newman H. Fisher, Professor of Mathematics; Nancy G. McDermid, Dean of the College of Humanities and Professor of Speech and Communication Studies; R. Newby Schweitzer, Professor of Economics.

PRES. CORRIGAN: My friends and colleagues, it is with pride and deep admiration that by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees, I confer upon each of you the title of Professor Emeritus or Emerita of San Francisco State University. May you take joy in this next stage of your life, and remember that you will always be a part of this university family.


ANNOUNCER: And now, ladies and gentlemen, the president of the San Francisco State University Alumni Association, Danelle Zeavin, will present the Alumnus of the Year.

DANELLE ZEAVIN: Hello. As president of our Alumni Association, I extend to you, the newest graduates of San Francisco State University, greetings and congratulations on behalf of the 200,000 women and men who have preceded you. It may be difficult to appreciate now, but your years as students represent but a brief moment. However, your status as San Francisco State alumni will span the rest of your lives. You will serve a critical role for San Francisco State. You will be this institution's ambassadors to the world. What you become will reflect directly back to San Francisco State. One way that you can keep connected to this University is to join the Alumni Association, which has given nearly $100,000 in scholarships to seniors and graduates in just the last five years. With your help, we can do even more.

And now it is a great pleasure to introduce our 2002 Alumnus of the Year, Peter Casey.

Mr. Casey, would you please join me at the podium.


DANELLE ZEAVIN: Peter Casey has a gift that so many of us wish we had, the ability to make people laugh. He started doing it as a professional in 1978.

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Last modified May 25, 2002, by the Office of Public Affairs