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SFSU Celebrates 105th Commencement: Transcript

May 28, 2005


The following is a transcript of San Francisco State University's 105th Commencement on Saturday, May 27, 2006 in Cox Stadium on campus before an audience of 20,000.



Processional and National Anthem

On reaching their places on the platform, the processional participants remained standing for the National Anthem.


Ladies and gentlemen; would you please rise for the singing of the national anthem. The processional was performed by the San Francisco State University Wind Ensemble under the direction of Robert Busan. Our soloist for the national anthem is Dan Ackerman, who graduates today with a bachelor of music in vocal performance.

[Mr. Ackerman moved to his microphone, sang the national anthem]


Opening and Invocation


Thank you, Mr. Ackerman. What a stirring opening for our commencement celebration! Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. Members of the San Francisco State University class of 2006 -- good afternoon! I said good afternoon!

Bienvenidos! Bienvenidos!

Huan Ying! Huan Ying!




A warm welcome to all of you. I'd like to extend a special welcome to all of our guests and families! For you, as for our graduates, this is an historic day. You have looked forward to this ceremony almost as eagerly as our graduates, and your presence adds greatly to their joy.

For you, our graduates, this day will always stand as a lifetime landmark. In this splendid public celebration, we honor all that you have achieved and anticipate with great confidence your future personal and professional successes. We know that you are ready to contribute to the welfare of the greater world that awaits you.

We begin by remembering the spirit in which we have gathered here this afternoon. To deliver the invocation, I am honored to present one of the city's most dynamic speakers and passionate advocates for social change -- Dr. Amos C. Brown, Senior Pastor of the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco.

Dr. Brown:

Mr. President, Mr. Provost, Deans of this illustrious university, faculty members, staff, students, honored guests, alumni, parents, friends, and indeed the graduates of the Class of 2006, permit me to hasten and say that, unlike the popular opinion that many ill-taught and misinformed persons embrace, America was not founded as a Christian nation. From the very beginning, persons came from all religious, cultural and ethnic persuasions -- Jews, Muslims, later Hindus and even deists and agnostics.

Therefore, conscience dictates that I must share with you by saying in a universal sense, that you would agree with me, that far too long the world has been rocked by humankind's starving for power and empire over another. And the tragedy is that men and women have used bad religion to subjugate others and to destroy the human personality and this good earth.

However, I am certain you will consider the idea that Thomas Jefferson embraced, that religion, spirituality are rational thought, substantially, is that which produces an honest life and respect for the worth and dignity of all human personality. This is what San Francisco State as a land grant college for the training of teachers has stood for since its founding.

On this faithful day of graduation, as we gather to applaud the administration, faculty, staff and all of those who have maintained an excellent enterprise of training of head, heart and hand for the development of self, the fashioning of new forms for the improvement of the quality of life in this world and the creation of artistic expressions so that human kind might transcend the peak loads of frustration and fear.

We pause to salute the graduates, parents, spouses and significant others who discovered that the hassle of burning the midnight oil, maxing out credit cards, mortgaging homes and sometimes working two or three jobs were worth the success of getting the tassel today.

And finally, as you go forth with your mortar boards, I wish for you safe passage and success in all your endeavors. You have experienced the light of knowledge. Now I admonish you to light a candle rather than to curse the darkness. Go forth, my friends, as light to this world to dispel the darkness of the division, depression, disease, destruction, and all of the ills of humankind. May you use your degrees and diplomas to show rays of joy, hope and enlightenment so that your life might radiate a message of healing not harm, pleasure not pain, enlightenment and truth and not error, happiness and not sorrow.

When we all make this our purpose and passion, whether we are Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic or non-believer, we shall be driven by the universal principle that will cause none of us to make an apology for where we came from or who we are. But we all shall be able to say, I am black and I'm proud. I'm brown and I'm sound. I'm yellow and I'm mellow. I'm straight and I'm sensible. I'm gay and I'm gracious and good. I'm red and I'm not dead. I'm white and I'm all right.

This is your challenge this year.


Thank you, Reverend Brown, for your inspiring words.

You remind us that in all our wonderful diversity, this campus is linked by strong shared values.

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Introductions and Welcome


Joining us on the platform today are some special guests who will be introduced by our announcer for today’s commencement exercises, Associate Professor Martin Gonzalez of the department of broadcast and electronic communication arts.


Please stand as your name is called. Audience, please hold your applause until everyone has been introduced.

From the board of trustees of the California State University:

  • Jeffrey L. Bleich and
  • George G. Gowgani

From the campus:

  • Caran Colvin, Chair of the Academic Senate;
  • Deborah Masters, Librarian of the University;
  • Leroy Morishita, Vice President for Administration and Finance;
  • Don Scoble, Executive Director of the San Francisco State University Foundation;
  • Gail Whitaker, Dean of the College of Extended Learning, and
  • Marilyn Verhey, Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development.



Today, as we mark San Francisco State's one hundred and fifth commencement, I'm proud to say that this graduating class is our largest, our most diverse and most accomplished of any in our history.

The 8,000 of you who graduate today can take great pride in your accomplishments. For many of you, this has been more than a four-year path. You have had to balance work -- perhaps even family responsibilities -- with your academic studies. But you have persevered and prevailed, and we congratulate you for your achievement.

You, the members of the class of 2006, are a true global community, and your varied life experiences, your cultural backgrounds and unique perspectives have made this campus an intellectually and culturally richer place for all of us.

You are a virtual United Nations on your own -- the native sons and daughters of 119 countries.

Some of your families have lived in the United States far longer than this university has existed. Others of you arrived barely two years ago. Virtually all of you are California residents, largely from the Bay Area. But almost one-quarter of you were actually born outside of the United States. That is right -- 25 percent born in another country, yet educated in California.

Ten of your classmates, our hood recipients, are seated on this platform. You will hear more about them later in the ceremony. But I will say now that in their varied life experiences, their courage, and their determination to succeed, they reflect the experiences of the class of 2006 and represent the values that we believe you hold most dear.

While you've been students here, you have gained knowledge of self and subject matter, have been both challenged and supported by this university's greatest asset -- our outstanding faculty. Men and women of principle and intellectual distinction, they care deeply about you. They sit facing you now, sharing my pride in your many achievements and experiencing very mixed emotions as you prepare to leave us.

Please join me in a round of applause for these dedicated faculty members who have devoted their lives to educating an enlightened and responsible citizenry.

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Introduction of the Student Speaker


Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Penny Saffold will now introduce the student speaker.


When Valerie Alcantara Francisco emigrated with her family from the Philippines, she could not have realized that she had startd on a path that would bring her to San Francisco State, to the discovery of two academic passions, and to the next step in her impressive career -- acceptance into a top doctoral program.

Valerie graduates today as a double major in sociology and Asian American Studies. She was accepted into our demanding Career Opportunities in Research Program, which prepares exceptional undergraduates who are racial or ethnic minorities for advanced study in mental health research.

She has presented her independent research -- a focus group study of social change in young people's peer education programs -- at several professional conferences.

An outstanding student, Valerie graduates today Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude -- with high honors. This fall, she will enter the Ph.D. program in sociology at the City University of New York's Graduate Center, where she will focus on immigrant women's experiences. She plans a university teaching career.

I am delighted to present, representing the class of 2006, Valerie Alcantara Francisco!


Thank you. Am I really on this? [looks at jumbo screen] Wow.

(Speaking Tagalog)

And I'm just going to take this moment, Class of 2006, you all are looking beautiful today. Let's make some noise up in here. Okay, let me start over.

(Speaking Tagalog)

In the Philippines we say this to welcome a beautiful afternoon and the beautiful people in attendance to this, San Francisco State University's 2006 Commencement. Good afternoon to all of you -- platform party, fellow students, faculty, family, friends, partners and colleagues.

First and foremost, I would like to congratulate all of you in the audience with purple caps and gowns on – you’ve got purple. And the rest of you in the bleachers dressed in your graduation best; I want to say congratulations to you all.

Our time here has been a time of seeing opportunities and, more importantly, making choices. Our choices, though we may not have understood clearly their gravity, affected our hours, our days and our years here.

Paulo Freire in his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed introduces the idea of humanization through education. When I first read that piece, I was like, "what does that word mean?" But more importantly, "how could a college teach me anything more about being human than the things I've learned through my own lived experiences?"

I was skeptical about humanization through education and even more skeptical about college. I thought that this institution, the institution of education, couldn't offer much so I didn't expect much.

Humanization, however, grew on me and I made a choice. Alongside my peers and my faculty, I began to learn more than what was in the books or in the tests or in the papers that I wrote. My education became a process of recognizing an organic intellectual capacity in all people.

My education was not solely trapped in the confines of our classrooms. Rather, I was learning from the everyday interactions with and from other people from all walks of life. I chose to allow for spaces of education in daily interactions with different people. And, luckily, those folks chose to teach me too.

For many of us a humanized education was true of our time here in this institution. We learned from our mothers and our fathers who worked to help us get through our journey. We learned from our co-workers who couldn't go to school but always wished they could. We learned from the janitor at Cesar Chavez Student Center about what it meant to be truly patient.

Humanized education here encourages us to see learning as organic, recognizing that each person can offer us a different perspective in education in their own alternative way. It invites us as scholars to expand the idea of an intellectual from an erudite professor, to the struggling single mother, from the smart kid in SF State Senior Seminar to the smart kid in her sophomore year at Balboa High School. Balboa! [waves]

We, then, the graduates of Class of 2006, have a privilege. Our privilege allows us to understand that every person, whatever her or his location in society, has something to offer, a type of education. Our responsibility, then, is to the very people and the community who taught us how to expand our ideas of education and intellect.

Our diplomas, and essentially our privilege of humanized education, means we must be part of the conscious few who create a culture of resistance and activism. We are accountable to the future graduates who will sit in these seats in ten years. We must foster a culture of collectivity in which we can be connected to the organic intellectuals in all corners of societies because, ultimately, they were the ones who taught us. And we must choose to continue their work through creating humanized education in whatever we do.

And then, again, much like our time here, graduates of 2006, our future is about our choices. And graduates of 2006, you choose. At this point of departure, anticipating what the future holds, I'm honored to let everybody here know that this education at this institution was more than I expected. Really, it was a lot more. A lot.

But our choices that bring us to the closing of our humanized education and that brought us to, and then contributed to our growth here, calls us to pay back. And our payback or give-back is promise through humanized choices in our future.

And I want to seize the moment right now and tell folks -- I just want to thank everybody who is here today for coming out to see us today. And because, just because we're graduating, you all are graduating, too.

So graduates of Class of 2006, stand up because today -- yeah, stand up. This is your day. This is our day. So congratulations Class of 2006.


Thank you, Valerie, for speaking so personally and powerfully to -- and for -- your classmates.

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Presentation of Faculty Emerita/Emeritus


Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs John Gemello will now present the emeritus faculty.


It is appropriate that at Commencement we acknowledge 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:

  • Ann Auleb, Lecturer in Biology
  • Marian Bernstein, Lecturer in Classics and Museum Studies
  • Lynn Bonfield, Librarian
  • John Burke, Professor of Physics
  • Candace Crockett, Professor of Art
  • Louis Falik, Professor of Geography and Human Environmental Studies
  • Jan Gregory, Lecturer in English
  • Philip Kipper, Pofessor of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts
  • David Kohler, Professor of Decision Sciences
  • Raymond Miller, Professor of International Relations and Social Science
  • James Peters, Professor of Astronomy, and
  • Daniel Wardlow, Professor of Marketing


My friends and colleagues, it is with great 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 or Lecturer Emeritus or Emerita of San Francisco State University. May you find fulfillment in this next stage of your life -- and remember that you will always be a part of the San Francisco State University family.

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Recognition of Alumnus of the Year


The Vice President for University Advancement, Lee Blitch, will now present the Alumnus of the Year.


On behalf of the San Francisco State University Alumni Association, I welcome you in your new status as alumni, joining the more than 200,000 graduates who have preceded you.

It is now my great pleasure to introduce our 2006 Alumnus of the Year, Dr. Kenneth Fong. Dr. Fong, would you please join me.

When timing and talent coincide, great things can happen. That is the story of Kenneth Fong. As an undergraduate biology major at San Francisco State, he shared in the thrill of discovery in the emerging field of genetic research and biotechnology

He decided to make it his own, and earned a doctorate in micro and molecular biology. After a research stint at the prestigious National Institutes of Health, Dr. Fong made another decision: to found a company that would create the tools that in turn, make cutting-edge biotech research possible.

That company, Clontech Laboratories, succeeded brilliantly. Today, Kenneth Fong heads a venture company that advises and supports the best and brightest in this field.

Though he has achieved great success, Kenneth Fong's years at San Francisco State were much like those of many of you -- working multiple jobs to pay his way and making his immigrant family proud when he earned the univeristy degree his parents had no chance to get. His education was particularly precious to him, he says, because he had to work so hard for it.

Today, Kenneth Fong is easing the path for new generations of San Francisco State science students, providing both expert advice and, with his wife Pam -- another San Francisco State graduate -- endowed scholarship support.

We are proud to claim Kenneth Fong as one of our own and delighted to honor him as the University's 2006 Alumnus of the Year!

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Response by Alumnus of the Year


Thank you, Lee.

Thirty-five years, just like coming home here to San Francisco State. I don't really know where you were 35 years ago, graduates, but I really feel grateful for San Francisco State, especially [the] Department of Biology which got me started in genetics. For that, I would like to acknowledge the faculty here -- who else -- who else [are] from the faculty of biology? I would like to take a bow, all of you. Thank you, thank you very much. If it were not for you, I would not be standing here.

Let me tell you a little bit about my past. Although I graduated from here some 30 years ago, I do have a lot of similarities with all of you. First, as Dr. Corrigan said, you are from as many as 100 different countries. I was originally from Hong Kong and then I got an opportunity to come to San Francisco State and complete my dream of having a degree here in the United States.

Second, I noticed that most San Francisco State students work their way through college. When I was here, I worked my days and all of my years through college as well.

Let me recount one interesting story in the 1970s. I was actually working in a rough neighborhood at one of the gasoline stations as a gasoline station attendant -- I almost forgot what my title was -- and it was in a San Francisco rough neighborhood.

You know, my shift, my shift was from 12:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. So my boss took me aside and warned me to my face that, "Ken, if you get threatened by somebody else and also get a gun to your head, give him all the money. Don't fight back." So I thought I had a good boss, not knowing later that he didn't want the liability of me, should I do some stupid thing.

That was in 1970. And at that time the gasoline was 25 cents per gallon. You probably never heard about that.

And then you have guys who would come in and tell me that -– there was full service at that time, there was no self service at that time -- so when a guy drove a car in, you had to wipe the window, fill the gas, put the air into each of the tires, check the water and put some oil in -- for as little as one dollar worth of gas, you would do all these things.

Then, you know, another guy would drive by and tell me, "Hey man, how about $1." So of course you just fill -- you fill the car with $1 worth of gas, and then proceed to collect the money. And the fellow would say, "Man, I did not mean $1; I meant one gallon." So he dropped me 25 cents and drove off.

So all these odd jobs and hard work in my early years were difficult and, at times, really exhausting. But I can tell you one thing: It helped make education all the more precious to me. It has also hardened my resolve to get things done when things got started.

So, San Francisco State essentially, as I said, got me started in genetics, and I am eternally grateful for that. And this work foundation has led me down the road to finishing my advanced degree in molecular biology which is my core competency until this day.

So when I founded the biotech company Clontech in 1984, I knew then what patience and persistence meant to me and eventually I developed the company into one of the largest in this particular niche market in 1984. In the last six years, I've been helping biotech companies get started. And until now I can count ten.

So my advice to you, from my learning about running those companies, is threefold. First, find your core competency and excel in it. And one of my heroes, your president, Dr. Corrigan, his core competency is education. I admire him for that. Bill Gates' core competency is software, nothing else. And, you know, Neil Young [who is] here today, his core competency is music. He's one of my son's heroes as well.

So, you know, you have to find something you're good at and excel in it. You cannot be all things to everybody. Second, focus on your core competency and do not deviate from it. It's very difficult to be everything for everybody. So focus, focus and focus.

And last, pursue your core competency with passion. And passion breeds persistence, and persistence breeds eventual success.

Again, I wish the class of 2006 the very best for your future pursuits. No matter what you do, I think you're going to do real well. Thank you very much.


Thank you, Dr. Fong. We are proud that San Francisco State was your training ground and pleased that you believe so strongly in this university.

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Conferral of the honorary degree on James J. Brosnahan


At Commencement, we not only recognize and honor all that you, our graduates, have achieved as students, we look ahead to what you can accomplish as educated and concerned citizens.

And so, each year, we choose this day to honor outstanding individuals who can serve as stirring models of the highest values and achievements to which you can aspire.

You have met one such person already -- our Alumnus of the Year. Now we will present the remarkable individuals on whom we have chosen to bestow the academic world's highest honor -- the honorary doctorate.

Joining me for these honorary degree conferrals are two members of the California State University Board of Trustees, Mr. Jeffrey Bleich and Dr. George Gowgani.


Good afternoon to the brilliant and beautiful Class of 2006. I'm honored to be here to celebrate you and the end of your tuition and to participate in awarding degrees to three remarkable people, one who is a champion of the people, two who are great champions of children with special needs.


I am also delighted to be here this afternoon to congratulate you on your accomplishments, equally honored, truly pleased to honor three deserving and inspiring Americans which you will meet shortly.


Would Mr. James Brosnahan please join us.

The law is a powerful profession, and throughout your distinguished career, you, James Brosnahan, have used that power well.

As one of the nation's most respected trial lawyers, you have represented some of the largest and most powerful organizations in the United States.

At the same time, you have shown yourself to be a dedicated champion for civil rights and human rights. Whether supporting the sanctuary movement or providing pro bono legal help to individuals charged with helping illegal immigrants enter the U.S. to escape the violence of Central America, you have lived out your determination to see the law equally applied and constitutional rights preserved.

"Equal justice under the law" might be your mantra. And as you note, equal justice starts with equal representation. As founder of the Volunteer Legal Services Program of the San Francisco Bar Association, you have ensured that tens of thousands of disadvantaged clients -- some 20,000 this year alone -- can have access to the best in legal representation -- at no charge.

The great U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "a man must join in the actions and passions of his time lest he be judged never to have lived at all." You, James Brosnahan, have most certainly been there when great issues of our day met the world of the law.

You have served as a lead prosecutor in the Iran-Contra case; represented John Walker Lindh in his prosecution for treason; and defended an accused member of the Irish Republican Army from extradition. In each case, you have worked to ensure that passion did not overcome justice.

James Brosnahan, you represent the highest standards of efficacy and ethics. In you, the promie of the legal profession is fulfilled, and we are delighted to honor you today.

By the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees, and in the name of the California State University, I hereby confer upon you, James J. Brosnahan, the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, with all the rights, honors and opportunities which it imparts.



President Corrigan who worked so hard to bring you all where you are now seated, and you who have worked so hard to get there are mindful that our remarks stand between you and getting your diplomas. So I will be brief.

On behalf of Judge Carol Brosnahan, who is seated over here, who is a judge on the Alameda Superior Court, who handles 100 or 150 cases a day and sees the problems of society up close and personal, and on behalf of myself who I think I have in my mind something that some of you may have in your mind and that is if my high school teachers could be standing here, I would give anything for them to see me in this regalia. And if they could speak, they would say, "America is a great country." And, "If Brosnahan can get this degree, anything is possible!"

President Corrigan, thirty-six, or [thirty-]seven years ago, I was invited on this campus to debate the question, whether the United States Constitution should be retained. It was the time of the troubles; you may have heard about it. It was so long ago. There were ideas in the air about total change, and I took the position that we should keep the Constitution. I won the debate because the fellow on the other side did not show up. I did not get to make my points.

And now I stand before 20,000 people. And I say to the people in the very back row, to the grandmas and the grandpas -- because we are grandmas and grandpas, Carol and I -- and I say to the parents -- because we're parents of three -- I say to you we know exactly how you feel. And these are the days that give us the energy to deal with the other days.

To repay your generosity, I brought you a present, at least for the first 100 that come up. There are 100 copies of the Constitution over there. You can take it with you, carry it with you. And when you have nothing to do, you may want to turn to it -- in fact, you may want to quote this to people, even people in office some days. I'll briefly read you three amendments – [it] doesn't take very long.

Amendment Number 1: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

This is not the place for a partisan speech. But how can it be that some of the officeholders who [have] taken an oath to defend this, on days seem to have forgotten it?

The Fourth Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized."

It took 200 years of thought to bring those simple words to paper, and it has been good for us for 200 years.

My favorite, the Ninth Amendment -- you may be a little confused as to what that is. It's like the commandments sometimes; there are a few that we know less well than others. And here is the Ninth Amendment. Listen to it. When is the last time you heard it?

"The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

That would be you and your grandmas and your grandpas and your parents and your friends and your brothers and sisters. We are all in this together.

Each generation must make it clear in your own way -- perhaps in some modest way, perhaps in a vote, perhaps in a conversation, perhaps some of you will run for office -- you must make it clear that you are for this Constitution.

And if, as I suspect, you are in fact for this Constitution and you want to retain it, I'll ask the graduates of the class of 2006 at this point, if you don't mind, to rise and show that you will keep the Constitution in your generation.

The energy that you have shared with myself and my wife today will keep us going. And I swear to you -- I take an oath -- that we will do the best we can to continue in the law and do what we can to make the path somewhat easier for those who become embroiled in it.

I cannot tell you, President Corrigan, how much we appreciate this. And I cannot tell you, the graduates of '06, how much we wish you "strength to your arm," as the Irish say. "May the wind always be at your back, and may life turn out to be what you hope it will be." I think it will. Thank you.


Thank you Dr. Brosnahan. You are an exemplar for us all.

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Conferral of the honorary degree on Pegi Morton Young


Pegi Young, 20 years ago you set out to change one life. In doing so, you have changed the lives of many others literally around the world.

Your son, Ben, was the catalyst. Born with cerebral palsy, unable to speak, Ben faced the prospect of a limited education. At that time, traditional schools for children with significant disabilities had a "low expectations" attitude.

But you, Pegi Young, set out to challenge and disprove that attitude. And how you have succeeded! You envisioned a school where children with multiple physical and speech impairments could develop their potential and demonstrate their ability to communicate and participate in society.

When you did not find such a place, you created it. You became the guiding force behind the creation of the Bridge School. Through the innovative - even revolutionary -- use of computer technology, Bridge makes communication and learning possible for students wh, without such assistance, might not be heard.

You have said, "just because people don't talk doesn't mean they don't think." The Bridge School proves the truth of your words. There, students have gained skills that enable them to continue their education -- for some, all the way to a college degree.

Last year at our commencement, your family may have been the proudest in this stadium when the Bridge School's first college graduate rolled forward in her wheelchair to receive her degree. Other Bridge School students are enrolled at universities -- and more will follow.

The school's mission reflects your passionate conviction that access to quality education can transform lives: "Give them an opportunity and they will achieve; give them a voice, and they will raise it for themselves and for those who cannot speak for themselves; give them an education and they will give back to the world."

Pegi Young, you truly have built a bridge between the disabled child and the world. For your work, you have received numerous awards. We are proud to add to them today.

By the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees, and in the name of the California State University and San Francisco State University, I hereby confer upon you, Pegi Morton Young, the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, with all the rights, honors and opportunities which it imparts.



Well, this is something. Thank you so very much, President Corrigan, Jeff and Bleich. And, John Gemello, I wanted to thank you for nominating me initially. Other esteemed guests here on the platform and, most of all, to you students who are culminating your process of study resulting in today, what a day of celebration for all of you and your families. And thank you for giving me just a moment of your time. And I promise to not go on too long either.

And thank you for Dr. Brosnahan's stirring words. They were really beautiful. Thank you so much for reminding us of some of those important liberties. And I, too, would probably be astounding my high school teachers because this probably wasn't a track they would have envisioned for me.

This, in fact, is the first time I've ever worn a cap and gown. This is my first graduation. I did graduate high school, but kind of unconventionally by a diploma in the mail. So this is really, really awesome. And but I want to just pay tribute to all of you who have really worked very, very hard to get here today.

I am being honored today for my work with Bridge School. And as I was sitting back there thinking, I thought for somebody who was so kind of cavalier about education, higher education, and didn't pursue the opportunities that were available to me -- and they were -- how I really spent the last 20 years of my life working in education and working alongside incredibly talented, dedicated folks.

Sorry, my hat's a little big so it keeps flipping around here.

I certainly would not even have thought of Bridge School were it not for my son Ben, as Dr. Corrigan indicated. And I'd like to just say hi over there to our inspiration for Bridge School, Ben Young. He has opened my eyes to disability, to a world I never would have come to know. And it's been incredibly gratifying. For everything that I have given to Bridge, I have gotten back a hundredfold.

It is true, as Dr. Corrigan said, no school existed at the time that he was ready to enroll that would meet his specific and unique needs. And out of our frustration as parents, we combined forces with another parent of disabled children, Jim Forderer and a speech pathologist, Dr. Marilyn Buzolich. And, with the help of Elliot Roberts -- and of course my husband, can't underestimate his contributions to the first benefit concert -- we raised the funds and the Bridge School was born.

That history being said, however, I really cannot let it be left unsaid that the true heroes of Bridge School are all of the kids, the students who work so hard to understand and to be understood, their families who stand by as relentless advocates and to the staff who bring endless expertise, encouragement and energy into the classrooms every day.

I get these accolades for Bridge School, but these are the people who are really doing the work. And, and I can't thank them enough for getting the job done so well.

I did just have an opportunity the other day to visit with a friend of mine, an adult with CP, an augmented communicator who was visiting the school along with his wife and a colleague who is looking to do some program development in New Hampshire.

And at the end of their day I just asked her, you know, if there was one thing she could take away from her visit to Bridge School. And she answered just immediately: "Yes. It's, it's that belief that is so palpable between the staff and the students, the staff's belief in the students' ability to participate, to contribute and to be involved in their education."

And so I guess -- again, [President Corrigan] who mentioned it earlier mentioned it earlier -- the expectations, it just boiled down to the expectations. And that just made me feel great as a founder of the school to have, you know, in spite of all the technology and all the bells and whistles and all the wonderful resources that we have, that that one thing was what she zeroed in on.

And, and that's really what The Bridge School is all about, is looking at kids that were underserved, continue to be underserved in a lot of areas, and recognizing their potential.

And, by the way, on the topic of wonderful people at Bridge School, I would like to acknowledge and thank San Francisco State for letting Vicki Casella go a little early to come and serve as executive director of our school because it's been a blessing to us. And she is a terrific asset.

So I know you're up here on the platform somewhere, Vicki; but thank you so much.

Well, I just want to say that this has been a big week for the Young family. In addition to Neil and I being honored today, last Saturday we were in Ohio at my daughter's campus out in the audience cheering her on as she received her bachelor of arts degree.

And I must say that really my only regret is that my parents aren't here today to be cheering us on. Because along with the high school faculty surprise, they might be sharing that surprise a little bit, too. Their college drop-out daughter, standing here speaking to all of you.

And I really do also want to thank my friends and my family that did come out. I'm really proud of this moment, and I'm proud of all of you.

And I just -- you know, my message, I guess, is just to -- you know, I didn't know where my life was taking me. But, you know, unexpected doors open. And if you go through them, it's kind of amazing what you can get back.

So thank you all, and especially congratulations to Linda Mitchell out there. You're one of the graduates of 2006. Way to go. Way to go all of you. Congratulations. We love you.


Thank you, Doctor Young. Your positive spirit inspires us.

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Conferral of the honorary degree on Neil Young


Would Mr. Neil Young please join us.

Neil Young, in the course of a career that now spans four decades, you have become a legend.

You have been inducted into both the Canadian and the U.S. Rock and Roll Halls of Fame. In more than 30 albums -- the newest, "Living with War," was released just this month -- you demonstrate your interest in, and mastery of, many musical styles.

Still, Neil Young, there is one constant in your long, stellar career: your social conscience. You are determined to use your celebrity and your music as a vehicle for helping others, and it is for that "heart of gold" that we are honoring you today.

Long before you and Pegi married, long before your son Ben, was born, you co-founded Farm Aid -- a star-studded concert created to support family farms and impoverished rural families. The benefit continues to this day.

But with Ben and the Bridge School, you found a cause into which you could pour all your talent and your love. "I'm proud of Farm Aid," you have said, "but I'm especially proud to be part of the Bridge School."

And what a part! Each year, the Bridge School Benefit brings together your friends and colleagues -- the best musicians in the world -- for a concert that sells out within a day. No wonder -- who would not leap at the chance to hear such headline artists as Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews and many more -- all at one event.

Thanks in large measure to you, Neil Young, the Bridge School has not just survived, but thrived.

As a musician and a man you live by these words in one of your best known songs: "I Want to Live I Want to Give." Your extraordinary career and your equally extraordinary desire to better the lives of others reflect values this university cherishes, and we are delighted to confer on you academe's highest honor.

By the authority vestedin me by the Board of Trustees, and in the name of the California State University and San Francisco State University, I hereby confer upon you, Neil Young, the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, with all the rights, honors and opportunities which it imparts.



Thank you very much. I'd like to thank you all -- everyone here -- and this great old establishment, this great institution, for giving me this honor which I deeply appreciate.

I'd also like to give thanks to the Great Spirit for allowing me to be here with you today and allowing us to all be together here today at this great time. And, you know, I'm 60 years old now. I've been rockin' for a long time. I'd just like to selfishly ask if I could feel the spirit of the Class of 2006 one time right now.

[crowd cheers wildly]

Thank you very much. It brings tears to my eyes as an old rocker from Canada to hear that energy.

And when you're walking down the street and you're looking around at your fellow man, when you get up in the morning and you look at your TV set, you see signs of, of war, you see signs of pain, guilt, all kinds of feelings every day among all of us wondering what we're doing and how we got to where we are.

There's no answer for that that's going to come from me. But all I can say, I can ask you, for the rest of your life, every time you see something that reminds you of war and hurts you, that you're involved in it, that you're responsible for a country that's killing a lot of people, just try to remember peace.

Thank you very much.


Thank you, Doctor Young, for joining your talent with a generous heart.

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Presentation of Commencement Speaker


Our commencement speaker, California Senator Jackie Speier, embodies two major themes of this commencement day -- overcoming adversity and working for the common good.

Throughout her life, Senator Speier has dealt with a level of tragedy that would have broken a lesser person. When she was 28 -- not much older than many of you graduating today -- Jackie Speier, then an aide to Congressman Leo Ryan -- was shot five times and left to die on an airstrip in Guyana. Representative Ryan and a San Francisco State graduate, Greg Robinson, did die, and the world learned the terrible news about cult leader Jim Jones and the Jonestown massacre.

In the 22 hours she waited for rescue, Jackie Speier promised herself that she would never take another day for ganted, and she would dedicate her life to public service

She was elected to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, where she served from 1980 to 1986, when she was elected to the State Assembly. She spent 10 years in the Assembly, but stepped down when her husband was killed by a drunk driver and she needed to care for and support their two small children. She returned to public life in 1998, when she was elected to the Senate, representing the 8th District, which includes San Francisco State.

As Senator, Jackie Speier has been responsible for truly groundbreaking legislation. The consumer privacy law she created is the nation's first, and her prescription drug discount bill made California the first state in the nation to offer discounts to seniors and persons with disabilities. Delinquent child support, auto repair fraud, women's health, domestic violence reporting and family law mediation for low-income people are among the issues that have resulted in successful legislation.

Throughout her legislative career, Senator Speier has authored some 300 pieces of legislation -- a remarkable record.

The great writer James Baldwin once wrote: "The world is before you, and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in." Jackie Speier lives by Baldwin's words. She is clearly ready to challenge the status quo when the people will benefit.

It is my pleasure now to introduce a great Senator of the people of California, our Senator, Jackie Speier!

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Commencement Address


Thank you, President Corrigan, Provost Gemello, distinguished guests, faculty staff, Doctors Brosnahan, Doctors Young and Doctor Fong, and to the graduating Class of 2006.

First, I want you, the graduates, to take a moment and give a round of applause to those who really made this all possible; your parents and friends who have supported you over these many years.

All right, now some of you stood and some of you didn't. Are you really grateful for the support your families gave you? Let's hear it.

I am truly honored and privileged to be here today as your commencement speaker and to talk to, literally, people from around the world. Students from over 119 countries attend this great university. This institution is indeed a global village, a crown jewel in California's higher education system.

Graduates, your San Francisco State University education gives you perspectives not available at more parochial institutions. You've studied with, partied with, got into deep philosophical conversations with people from the Middle East, from Central America, from China, and from India. An unparalleled opportunity and enriching opportunity.

You know, commencement speakers take their responsibilities very seriously, maybe too seriously. The graduates are often not listening. And the truth of the matter is when I graduated back in 1972, I can't tell you today who the commencement speaker was, nor what he or she said. So I'm not expecting you to remember much of anything that I'm going to say.

But I want you to remember just one question, and this is it: Graduates, what would you do with your life if you knew you could not fail?

Just imagine a whole life and you knew that whatever it is you did or wanted to do you could not fail. You know this fragile world is desperate, absolutely desperate for people who think beyond the paycheck, who read more than the headlines, who purposely, overtly and, passionately create hope, light and understanding; people who are authentic and who are not limited by failure.

Show me a person like the one I have just described, and I will show you a person who will help us stop global warming, who will help stop the killing in Darfur, who will help stop needless suffering and poverty in our own very rich nation.

Graduates, this could be you. But you need to answer this fundamental question, and you can take a few years if you'd like. But I want you to please think about it each and every day. Ask yourself: What would I do with my life if I knew that I could not fail?

Let me tell you about two remarkable people who knew they could not fail. A few years back, a young UCSF professor named Herbert Boyer sat down with a couple of beers with a venture capitalist named Bob Swanson in a pub right here in San Francisco. They carried on their conversation for about three hours.

At the end of three hours they shook hands and they founded a company. That company is Genentech. And in so doing that, those two men created the biotechnology industry for the entire world. In so doing, they created jobs for over 25,000 Californians. And now one in six biotech companies in the world exists right here in California.

They believed they could not fail.

Over 20 years ago a mother named Candy Lightner lost her daughter to a drunk driver. Turning indescribable grief into hope she founded MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. Candy Lightner and MADD revolutionized public policy on drunken driving and in the process saved hundreds and thousands of people and many other more people from injury.

How about you, graduates, what would you do with your life if you knew you could not fail? Here's the hard part about my speech today. It's called audience participation. First to the family and friends, I want you to listen carefully. If you believe that your graduate cannot fail, that your graduate can do anything, I want you to show your graduate today by standing up right now.


All right, graduates, they believe in you. Do you believe in yourselves?


All right. You can be seated.

Now, graduates, let me ask you this. It's time for you to show your families and friends that we have dreamers and leaders among you, those who know that they cannot fail. I want to have any graduate here who will be a teacher, who will teach the young, the old, those with disabilities, I want you to stand up.


Thank you.

I want any graduate who will be a healer of body or soul to stand up.


I want a graduate who will help business grow and prosper to stand up.


And if you have not already stood up but believe you will make a world -- this world -- a better place, I want you to stand up.


You are the future. We need your dreams, your faith, and your will to succeed. I'd like to celebrate this moment, your moment, with a round of applause. Please join me in honoring the determination of the Class of 2006.

[applause, cheering]

You know, a very good friend of mine said something very powerful, and it has stayed with me for a number of years. She said that each of us is given a task to do in this world. And if we don't do it, no one will. So whether it's Candy Lightner or Bob Swanson or Herb Boyer, each of them recognized that they had something to do. And if they didn't do it, it wouldn't get done.

I'd like to paraphrase a statement made by someone each of you should know. This person challenges us to be awake during a critical moment in history. And by awake he means that we should do more than just demonstrate or march. We need to find ways to affect the political process, to awaken others. The author of this challenge is my good friend, a great leader of this university, your president, Robert Corrigan.

I met Dr. Corrigan's challenge a few years before he actually issued it. It was a time when there was no Internet, and Spam was something you ate when you were desperate.

I had just graduated from law school, and I was working for a member of Congress, Leo Ryan. He represented this very area here in the House of Representatives. And people from this great city, many of them his constituents, had gone off to live in a jungle, a place called Jonestown. They thought that they were following a leader, but they were not. They were following a madman, Jim Jones.

Congressman Ryan went to investigate Jonestown. We had heard stories that people were being held there against their will, that there was physical and sexual abuse going on, there was mind control going on. And Congressman Ryan wanted to find out firsthand whether or not it was true.

My awakening to the world and to the precious gift of life came in November of 1978 when we tried to help those captives leave Jonestown.

We were about to board the planes for the flight back to the United States. Jim Jones didn't want us to leave, at least not alive. A tractor trailer loaded with men armed with shotguns and rifles pulled up and opened fire on us at that airstrip. Congressman Ryan was gunned down, having been shot 40 times. The first and only congressman in the history of this country to be assassinated during the line of duty. I was shot five times and left to bleed on that airstrip for 22 hours.

Back at Jonestown, over 900 people lost their lives in a mass murder and suicide that night. This is what I awoke to on that long day. I was 28 years old, and I was waiting to die. I laid awake all night fearing some of the gunmen would come back and finish us off. Time passed, and local Guyanese people offered me rum to try and get me through the night. I had a lot of time to think.

I promised God that if I lived, I would make every day count. I promised that I would make something out of my life if I was allowed to keep my life. Well, here I am. I have chosen a career as a public servant. One, I hope many of you will contemplate as you move forward in your lives.

The landscape is filled with cliffs, cliffs tailor-made for falling off into election oblivion when you offend the moneyed interests in Sacramento. And, believe me, I have been very offensive in my 18 years in the state legislature. I have taken on the banks and the insurers to protect your personal financial information. I fought the pharmaceutical companies to win drug discounts for seniors and the disabled and I took on the $8.2 billion prison industry in order to save money for higher education.

You see, I don't think it makes sense that we spend four times as much money caring for the inmates in state prison as we do the students at the universities in this state.

I wouldn't have lasted all these years without a passion for what I was doing and an ego that heals easily. That's what I was called upon to do.

The question is, graduates: What will you do? When you look at the world's problems, from a neighborhood drug dealer to the broad brush strokes of the war on terror, don't rely on others to take action. You don't have to personally drive a patrol car or don fatigues, but you should strive to understand why it is so important to find solutions to these conflicts.

Now I ask you again, graduates: What would you do with your life if you knew you could not fail?

Would you be awake to the moment, the moment to solve these and other conflicts? Would you recognize that, as Rose Kennedy once said, "Life is not measured in milestones but in moments?"

We are now near that moment when you will leave this stadium. I ask that you leave with the power of the faith that your family and friends have in you, that you will leave without limits of fear but instead be emboldened by opportunities of risk.

Now I'm not going to finish my comments this afternoon by quoting Margaret Mead or Thomas Jefferson. I'm going to be somewhat shameless about it. I ripped this quote off from a T-shirt, and this is what the T-shirt said, "If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room."

Congratulations, graduates. We love you. We're very proud of you.


Thank you, Senator Speier. You remind us of the power and value of public service

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President's Remarks


Listen up, Class of 2006! In just a few minutes, we will arrive at the part of the program for which you all have been waiting -- the awarding of degrees!

Another word before we do proceed. You, our Class of 2006, are the faces -- and future -- of the 21st century. White, black, brown, tan, male, female, old, young -- in all your wonderful diversity, you will be this young century's heart, its mind, its leadership.

Always remember that you are as exceptionally talented and as well-educated a group as can be found anywhere.

You are graduating into a world of exeptional challenges; we know that you will rise to meet them!

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Conferral of Doctoral Degrees


We now begin the conferral of degrees. Provost John Gemello and Dean of Graduate Studies Ann Hallum will present the candidates for the doctoral degree.


By the joint action of the Board of Regents of the University of California and the Board of Trustees of the California State University, we are conferring the first of these degrees with the University of California, San Francisco.

Will Wendy Katzman please come forward for hooding by Dean Hallum.


Mr. President, subject to the completion of all requirements as prescribed by the Board of Regents of the University of California, the Trustees of the California State University, and the faculties of the University of California, San Francisco, and San Francisco State University, Wendy Katzman is presented for receipt of the degree Doctor of Physical Therapy Science.


Upon the recommendation of the administrative and teaching faculty of San Francisco State University and of the University of California, San Francisco, and by the authority vested in me as President of the University by the state of California, under the provisions of the Donahoe Higher Education Act, I confer upon you, Wendy Katzman, the degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy Science with all of the rights, honors and opportunities attached thereto.


We are conferring our next doctoral degree jointly with the University of California, Berkeley.

Would Wofgang Mann please come forward for hooding by Dean Hallum.

Mr. President, subject to the completion of all requirements as prescribed by the Board Regents of the University of California, the Trustees of the California State University, and the faculties of the University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco State University, Wolfgang Mann is presented for receipt of the degree Doctor of Philosophy in Education.


Upon the recommendation of the administrative and teaching faculty of San Francisco State University and of the University of California, San Francisco, and by the authority vested in me as President of the University by the state of California, under the provisions of the Donahoe Higher Education Act, I confer upon you, Wolfgang Mann, the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education with all of the rights, honors and opportunities attached thereto.

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Presentation of the Hood Recipients


It is time now to introduce the graduating students on the platform, whom President Corrigan mentioned earlier -- our 2006 hood recipients.

It is an academic custom to invest those earning degrees with hoods that designate the degree bestowed. Time does not allow us to present each of the graduates here today with a hood. Therefore, the graduate program has chosen an outstanding student to represent all of those receiving their master's degree, and each college of the university has chosen an outstanding student to represent those earning undergraduate degrees. These students will receive the hood on behalf of their fellow members of the class of 2006.

Would the hood recipients and their respective deans please come forward.

Audience, please hold your applause until all of the hood recipients have been presented.

Representing all students receiving their master's degree today is Ms. TaiJuana Sylvester, who is receiving a Master of Science in Biology, with a concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology.

[Hood recipients and deans came forward]


TaiJuana Sylvester participated in two of our most competitive scholarship programs in the sciences, gaining such special opportunities as the chance to do research in the summer at Stanford. Still, she has found time for service, volunteering at two Bay Area hospitals and mentoring foster children with special needs. She plans to earn both a Ph.D. and an M.D. and become a pediatrician. She will enter medical school at either Stanford University or Brown University.


Dean of the Graduate Division Ann Hallum will now present the hood.

[Dean Hallum hoods Ms. Sylvester, shakes her hand]

Ms. Valerie Alcantara Francisco, a double major in Sociology and Asian American Studies, has been selected to receive the investiture in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.


Throughout her years at SF State, Valerie Francisco has made time to work in -- and give back to -- her community. She is a founding member of BABAE, a grassroots international women's organization that fights for social justice and human rights for Filipinas. She has worked as a Filipino Studies educator at Balboa High School and she reaches out to the young through music -- Valerie is a rapper who performs in a group of four Filipinas.


Joel Kassiola, Dean of the Colege of Behavioral and Social Sciences, will now confer the hood.

[Dean Kassiola hoods Ms. Francisco, shakes her hand]


Nine years ago, Kelli Nakamura entered college as a National Merit Scholar. However, circumstances forced her to leave school. In 2003 she found herself the single mother of two young children and realized that for their sake and hers, she needed to complete her degree. When she discovered the field of Decision Sciences here at San Francisco State, her career path was set. Kelli has balanced full-time parenting and school taking night classes. She intends to work as an operations analyst.


College of Business Dean Nancy Hayes will confer the hood.

[Dean Hayes hoods Ms. Nakamura, shakes her hand]

Ms. Kristin Farr, an Art major, has been selected to receive the hood on behalf of all graduates in the College of Creative Arts


Kristin Farr has pursued a dual emphasis in Sculpture and Textiles. She has also pursued an interest in teaching, taking Art Education courses, teaching art to children in El Salvador, and introducing schoolchildren in San Francisco's Mission District and Hunter's Point to the joys of art. She now works at KQED-TV as outreach and education coordinator for "Spark," a program that spotlights Bay Area artists. Kristin plans to attend graduate school and eventually become a professor of art.


The Dean of the College of Creative Arts, Wan-Lee Cheng, will confer the hood.

[Dean Cheng hoods Ms. Francisco, shakes her hand]

Ms. Marie Brown, a Communicative Disorders major, has been selected to receive the hood for the College of Education.


Marie Brown's interest in communication started early. As a teenager, she studied American Sign Language and is now fully bilingual. While excelling academically, Marie has applied her skills generously in the community, working as a speech therapy aide at California Pacific Medical Center, giving one-on-one attention to South San Francisco children with learning disabilities, and volunteering in a special education classroom here in San Francisco. She will enter our master's program in Speech-Language Pathology next fall.


The Dean of the College of Education, Jake Perea, will confer the hood.

[Dean Perea hoods Ms. Brown, shakes her hand]

Ms. Sonia Elena Mays, a major in Raza Studies, has been selected to receive the hood in the College of Ethnic Studies.


Raza Studies major and American Indian Studies minor Sonia Mays attended San Francisco State as a Presidential Scholar on a full scholarship. She has achieved an outstanding academic record while working on Ethnic Studies publications, volunteering in the Native American and Latino communities, and interning at the International Treaty Council. Sonia has just been selected for the prestigious California Executive Fellowship program, which will give her the opportunity to learn about and work on state public policy issues.


The Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies, Kenneth Monteiro, will confer the hood.

[Dean Monteiro hoods Ms. Mays, shakes her hand]

Ms. Marilyn Barnes, a Health Education major, has been selected to receive the investiuture in the College of Health and Human Services.


Marilyn Barnes exemplifies determination and triumph. A working mother of five children, Marilyn is graduating with highest honors after overcoming both societal and personal obstacles. As an active member of the Health Education Student Association, she has been a role model for many of her fellow majors. Six years ago, she founded a non-profit agency -- Because Black is Still Beautiful -- to address health and social justice issues among African-Americans in San Fracisco's Western Addition.


The Dean of the College of Health and Human Services, Don Taylor, will confer the hood.

[Dean Taylor hoods Ms. Barnes, shakes her hand]

Ms. Anna Abeyta, a Philosophy major, has been selected to receive the hood on behalf of all graduates in the College of Humanities.


Anna Abeyta came to San Francisco State with an interest in Philosophy, and quickly discovered her passion: the study of religion and religious experience. She has taken classes in Jewish Studies and Humanities, as well as Philosophy, impressing faculty with her ability to make sense of difficult texts and the originality of her interpretations. She plans to pursue a master's degree in our Humanities department, earn a doctorate in Religious Studies, and embark on a university teaching career.


Paul Sherwin, Dean of the College of Humanities, will confer the hood.

[Dean Sherwin hoods Ms. Abeyta, shakes her hand]

Ms. Marlisa Pillsbury, a Biochemistry major, has been selected to receive the hood on behalf of all graduates in the College of Science and Engineering.


Throughout her years at San Francisco State, Marlisa has been deeply involved in Biochemistry research. She has already presented her research results at five professional conferences and will be listed as co-author on three publications in major journals. Marlisa, who is the first in her family to graduate from high school, and now, college, supported herself completely throughout her college education. That will change as she enters the University of California, San Francisco with a full-expenses fellowship to pursue a Ph.D. in the prestigious Chemical Biology program.


Sheldon Axler, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering, will confer the hood.

[Dean Axler hoods Ms. Pillsbury, shakes her hand]

Ms. Michelle Reardon has been seleted to receive the hood on behalf of all Liberal Studies and Special Major graduates.


Liberal Studies major Michelle Reardon proves that re-entry students are often among our best. After one semester in a community college years ago, Michelle took a long detour that included modeling, marriage, and motherhood. Five years ago, she decided to complete her education. One faculty member has said, "I love reading her papers." Another describes Michelle as "a leader in class." She will enter our teaching credential program this fall, with plans to become a second-grade teacher.


Dean of Undergraduate Studies Robert Cherny will now confer the hood.

[Dean Cherny hoods Ms. Reardon, shakes her hand]


We are tremendously proud of these outstanding students. Please join me in a round of applause for our 2006 hood recipients!

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Conferring of Master's Degrees


Provost Gemello will now present the candidates for the master's degree. Will all the candidates for the degree Master of Arts please rise.

The candidates for the degree Master of Fine Arts, the candidates for the degree Master of Business Administration. The candidates for the degree Master of Music, the candidates for the degree Master of Public Administration, the candidates for the degree Master of Public Health, the candidates for the degree Master of Science, and the candidates for the degree Master of Social Work.


Mr. President, subject to the completion of all requirements as prescribed by the trustees of the California State University and the faculty of San Francisco State University, these candidates are presented for receipt of the appropriate master's degrees.


Upon the recommendation of the administrative and teaching faculty of San Francisco State University and by the authority vested in me as President by the University and the state of California, I confer upon each of you who has completed the requirements the master's degree for which you are listed in the commencement program, together with all rights, privileges and responsibilities attached thereto.



Will the master's degree recipients please be seated. In a few moments, the faculty marshals will guide you to the stages row by row.

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Distribution of Diplomas to Master's Degree Candidates


Will the deans please go to their respective stages.

Will the faculty marshals please direct the master's degree recipients to the stages, starting from the front. We ask that graduates wait for the marshals' instructions. After leaving the stages, graduates will proceed to the rear of the stadium and will be guided out.

Coming forward to the stage on the right of the jumbo screen will be the graduates from the colleges of Behavioral and Social Sciences; Education; Liberal Studies and Special Majors; Health and Human Services, and Humanities.

And to the stage on the left of the screen, graduates from the colleges of Business, Ethnic Studies, Creative Arts, and Science and Engineering.

[Deans distribute diplomas to their respective graduates]

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Conferring of Bachelor's Degrees


And now, the moment for which so many have been waiting!


Will the candidates for the degrees Bachelor of Arts please rise.

The candidates for the degree Bachelor of Music, and the candidates for the degree Bachelor of Science!


Mr. President, subject to the completion of all requirements as prescribed by the trustees of the California State University and the faculty of San Francisco State University, these candidates are presented for receipt of the appropriate baccalaureate degree.


Upon the recommendation of the administrative and teaching faculty of San Francisco State University, and by the authority vested in me as President of the University by the state of California, I confer upon each of you who have completed the requirements the baccalaureate for which you are listed in the commencement program, together with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities attached thereto.


It is customary that those receiving the baccalaureate degree move the tassels of their caps from the right side to the left side.

I ask that you who have just received your degrees move your tassels now.


Members of the audience, I present to you the class of 2006! Please join me in a round of applause for all of them.

Members of the class of 2006, we hope that you leave us today filled with joy, with confidence, and also with a sense of responsibility that will far outlast this celebration. Responsibility to community, to the common good, to the global society of which we are a part.

That society needs your active involvement, your best ideas, your leadership. We hope that each of you will live your life as if the well-being of the world depended on you. And, in a sense, it does.

As you leave us today, you take with you our affection and respect, our belief in you, and our hope that you will fulfill all your dreams. God bless you all!


The faculty marshals will now guide the bachelor's degree recipients to the stages, row by row, starting from the front.

On the stage to the right of the screen, graduates from the Colleges of Behavioral and Social Sciences; Education; Liberal Studies and Special Majors; Health and Human Services, and Humanities.

On the stage to the left of the screen, graduates from the Colleges of Business, Ethnic Studies, Creative Arts, and Science & Engineering.

Distribution of Diplomas to Bachelor's Degree Candidates 

Deans distribute diplomas as before, students exit stadium after receiving their diplomas.

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Last modified May 31, 2006 by University Communications