May 24, 2010 -- Following is a transcript of San Francisco State University's 109th Commencement held on Saturday, May 22, 2010 in Cox Stadium on campus before an audience of 20,000.
- Processional and National Anthem
- Introductions and Welcome
- Opening & Invocation
- Introduction of Student Speaker for Class of 2010
- Student Speaker Marilyn Thomas' Remarks
- Presentation of Faculty Emerita/Emeritus
- Recognition of Alumnus of the Year
- Response by Alumnus of the Year Randy Hayes
- Conferral of the Honorary Degrees: California Nisei College Diploma Project
- Presentation of the President's Medal of Service on Vice President Blitch
- Presentation of the President's Medal of Service on Frank Bayliss
- Presentation of the President's Medal of Service on Lateefah Simon
- Commencement Address by Lateefah Simon
- President Corrigan's Remarks
- Conferral of Doctoral Degrees
- Presentation of the Hood Recipients
- Conferral of Master's Degrees
- Distribution of Diplomas to Master's Degree Candidates
- Conferral of Bachelor's Degrees
- Distribution of Diplomas to Bachelor's Degree Candidates
[ON REACHIG THEIR PLACES ON THE PLATFORM, PROCESSIONAL PARTICIPANTS REMAINED STANDING FOR THE NATIONAL ANTHEM]
Now, ladies and gentlemen would you please rise for the singing of the National Anthem. The processional today was performed by the San Francisco State University Brass ensemble, also providing music for today's ceremony are the Alexander String Quartet, the Andrew Speight Quartet and the Hausmann Quartet. Our soloist today for the National Anthem is Alison Sheehan, who graduates this afternoon with a Bachelor of Music in classical voice performance.
[MS. SHEEHAN MOVED TO HER MICROPHONE, SANG THE NATIONAL ANTHEM]
Thank you, Ms. Sheehan, that was stirring and a great opening for our 109th Commencement celebration. Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. Members of the San Francisco State University class of 2010 -- good afternoon! Is this not a glorious day?
And you've been telling your parents and loved ones that we have fog -- it's like this every day, wasn't it, for all the time you were here as students?
A warm welcome to all of our guests and to the families of our graduates! For you, as it is for them, this is a historic day! You have looked forward to this ceremony almost as eagerly as our students, and your presence this afternoon adds greatly to their pride and pleasure.
Today as we mark the completion of San Francisco State's one hundred and eleventh year, I am pleased to report that this graduating class is not only one of the largest and most diverse --and certainly the most accomplished class in the history of this great University.
I am also proud to announce that among the members of the class of 2010 are 115 individuals to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude -- veterans of the armed forces who chose to serve their country before pursuing their degrees.
To our veterans -- please accept our congratulations and deeply felt gratitude.
This day marks a milestone in the lives of our graduates. And while I take great pride in acknowledging it, that is not really enough. I want to leave you with a challenge: to go out and live by the values that this remarkable University has stood for for over a century -- the values we hope we have been able to impart to you.
We believe it is our responsibility to educate hearts as well as minds. We are proud to be a University of activism, of personal responsibility, of concern about major issues and determination to be engaged with those issues.
Where but at San Francisco State would you find a university whose faculty has made a commitment to social justice and equity the first of its fundamental goals -- exhibiting that commitment in many ways -- hiring, for example, the most diverse faculty of any university in the United States.
Where but at SF State would you find a faculty who care so passionately about the world beyond the campus and have constantly encouraged you, their students, to take an active role in the community.
They have helped you to apply what you are learning to the needs of those around us -- people in need of affordable health care; former foster youth seeking guidance and education; families plagued by neighborhood violence; children who need a head start on basic educational skills; immigrants whose children -- with your help -- may one day sit where you are sitting.
Where but at San Francisco State could you be so challenged by a diversity of views yet so supported in learning how to disagree strongly -- indeed passionately -- but without hatred -- a skill the world sorely needs, and you have learned.
Where but at San Francisco State would you be asked so often to apply an ethical perspective to the subjects you have studied -- whether that subject is the enviornment, health care, the media, business management, public education -- virtually any field I could name.
I have said repeatedly that we try to make this campus a model of the kind of world in which all of us want to live.
Now that you are moving from the campus into a new stage of your lives, I ask you to hold that model in your mind, and in your heart.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you can do that, you will have more than met our expectations of you, and we will take great pride in you as you graduate from SF State.
us on the platform are some special guests who will be introduced
announcer for today’s Commencement exercises,
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:
Trustee Carol Chandler
From the campus:
Shawn Whalen, chair of the Academic Senate
Cynthia Ashton , president of the Associated Students
Deborah Masters, librarian of the University
Leroy Morishita, executive vice president and chief financial officer
Don Scoble, chair of the board of directors, San Francisco State University Foundation, and
Wanda Lee, dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development.
Also with us on the platform are representatives of the group that is the true heart and soul of the University -- our outstanding faculty. While you have been students here, they have helped you to gain knowledge of self and of subject matter, as they have both challenged and supported you.
Principled women and men of intellectual distinction, they care deeply about you. I know that as they sit facing you, they will feel both deep pride in your achievements and a touch of sorrow 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 teaching and learning.
To help us recollect the spirit in which we have gathered here this afternoon, I am honored to invite to the podium the bishop for San Francisco of the Buddhist Churches of America, Socho Koshin Ogui.
BISHOP OGUI :
Okay, let us pray.
Oh yes, I am the one who is graduating today from San Francisco State University.
Yes, I did it.
Yes, I did it.
[BISHOP OGUI CHUCKLES, CROWD CHEERS]
Yet, yet, yet, as I reflect upon the joy that I am experiencing today, I cannot help myself but to think about, nor can I ignore, the countless numbers of people and things who have made my graduation possible.
Now this moment I realize that my life is not only my life but it is also the life of others and their sacrifices, their kindness and their patience. Oh yes, I am thankful and grateful to all the people and things which have made my graduation possible today.
The moment of silence as an expression of thankfullness.
Thank you, bishop Ogui, for your inspiring words. You remind us all that in our wonderful diversity this campus community is linked by strong shared values. Thank you very much.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Penny Saffold will now introduce the student speaker.
Marilyn Thomas's path to this day and this platform is a testament to the triumph of the will to overcome obstacles.
She was raised in San Francisco's Hunters Point neighborhood where many residents had what Marilyn calls an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. At age 15, a family crisis left her homeless and a high school dropout. And at age 20, she became a single parent.
Marilyn's determination to attain a better life for herself and son led first to modeling and then to a successful career as a massage therapist.
Along the way, Ms. Thomas earned a high school equivalency degree and enrolled in community college to study biology. At age 30, Marilyn transferred to San Francisco State where she had dreamed of attending since she was a girl.
Marilyn gives generously of her time and has participated in a project funded by the National Institutes of Health that helps girls and women of color prepare for careers in biomedical research. She's a science club leader and a true model for girls interested in science careers.
Marilyn plans to apply to medical school with a future in clinical and biomedical research. I am delighted to present Ms. Marilyn Thomas representing the class of 2010. Thank you.
Wow! What an intro. Congratulations class 2010! We did it!
I first want to just say 'thank you' to President Corrigan, the faculty and staff for giving me the honor of speaking with you all here today. I also want to thank the distinguished guests and family and friends who have come out to share this moment.
Thank you so much for being here with us. Oh what a long and fortuitous journey we've all travelled together.
College did seem like a dream to me growing up here because people from my neighborhood were mainly drug-dealers or gang-bangers. And as a child, San Francisco State seemed like the most impressive university in the world growing up here in the City.
Thinking that I would never achieve a formal education for myself, I settled for working as a massage therapist due to my passion and interest in health and wellness. But during that time, I became inspired by the actor and comedian Milton Berle who said, "If opportunity doesn't knock, then you build a door."
It motivated me. It motivated me to strive for a career that I felt that my family and I really deserved and that I was capable of. And I began to build some doors and my life began to change. My childhood dream of attending San Francisco State was finally realized on that journey, and it has been the finest door that I have built thus far.
We've all been blessed to be a part of this university. This institution offers more than just the high levels of education, compassion and leadership skills required for success, but it also offers a type of kinship: A supportive relationship that we can all lean on throughout our careers and endeavors. We are an extended family now and we will forever be bonded by this moment.
And I'd like to think that I was invited to speak to you here today not because I've survived a tremendous amount of adversity in my life, but rather because of what I've chosen to do with my life despite that.
I want to challenge you to pay attention to the factors that impact your choices. Will your future decisions originate from confidence or from fear or insecurity? Most people find themselves imprisoned by fear, the fear of failure... the fear of making mistakes. Don't be fooled into believing that a mistake is a failure; because as it is true in science, it is also true in life that mistakes are essential. They are essential. Mistakes are essential because they identify what doesn't work and knowing what doesn't work can be a lot more valuable than knowing what does. Believe me.
Only by embracing both your successes and your failures can you truly reach greatness in life. I believe that. So one day, on your career path and in your life, when you are faced with something that seems like the most spectacular failure of your entire life, I want you to stop and I want you to ask yourself, "Is this moment going to defeat me, or is this moment going to define me?"
I pray that you challenge yourself to face the issue head-on, and choose to become a better person for it. And truly, if you weren't capable of that, you wouldn't be here right now.
Remember that. Remember that.
You have achieved one of the greatest milestones in life today. You have built this door. Hopefully, your successes here will only motivate you to build even more.
By following that philosophy, I have been transformed from an uneducated single-mom from the hood into the Hood Recipient of my graduating class.
Anything is achievable when you start to participate in your life.
Now, I'm building a door that leads to medical school. But the question I have for you is: where will yours lead you? Be proud of what you've accomplished here. Be proud of what you've accomplished here. And be excited about your future.
I'm excited for all of us so congratulations class! Go out and build some doors! Okay!
Thank you so much.
Thank you, for those inspiring words, Ms. Thomas, you spoke personally and powerfully for your classmates. I think Milton Berle would have been really proud of you.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, University Provost Sue Rosser 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:
- Jane Bernard Powers, professor of Elementary Education
- Judith Blomberg, professor of Secondary Education
- Jose Cuellar, professor of Raza Studies
- Diann Ellis, professor of Elementary Education
- Carol Langbort, professor of Elementary Education
- Richard Legates, professor of Urban Studies & Planning
- Anthony Lepire, professor of Secondary Education
- James Murphy, professor of Recreation, Parks & Tourism
- Wade Nobles, professor of Africana Studies
- James Orenberg, professor of Chemistry
- Raymond Pestrong, professor of Geosciences
- Virginia Ann Greer Shadwick, Librarian
- Corless Smith, professor of Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts
- Thomas D. Spencer, professor of Psychology
- Oba T’shaka, professor of Africana Studies
- C. Daniel Vencill, professor of Economics
- Frank M. Verducci, professor of Kinesiology
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.
The Vice President for University Advancement, Lee Blitch, will now present the Alumnus of the Year.
Thank you. Today as you end your student careers and you start your new ones as proud alums of San Francisco State University, you'll be joining more than 200,000 people, a group that stretches around the world. Remember, wherever you go, you'll always be a part of this University.
It's now my great pleasure to introduce our 2010 alumnus of the year, Mr. Randall Hayes. Mr. Hayes, please join me up at the podium.
A great many people talk about the environment. Randy Hayes does something about it. His passion and ability to effect change showed up while he was earning his master's degree in environmental studies through our Department of Geography and Human Environmental Studies. He and two fellow students made a documentary about strip mining in Native lands in the American Southwest. It won the Best Student Documentary from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Five years later, Randy traded filmmaking for policymaking. He founded the Rainforest Action Network, its aim to use visibility and public campaigns to persuade corporations around the world to follow sustainable practices or as the Network says, "balance profits with principles." His victories have been many. Because of Randy Hayes, Burger King stopped buying beef from Brazil where the cattle industry was cutting down valuable rain forest. Because of Hayes, a paper giant, Boise Cascade, ended logging of old-growth forests. Both nature and human populations have benefited greatly from his work.
Environmentalism isn't for the timid. The Rainforest Action Network describes itself as environmentalism with teeth, and the Wall Street Journal called Randy Hayes "an environmental pit bull" -- a term that he accepts with pride.
Randy remains on the Rainforest Action board, but now, as director of the U.S. liaison office for World Future Council, he is helping shape and implement long-term global policy that promotes sustainable living.
Randall Hayes, your advocacy will help future generations inherit a cleaner, more just world. We're proud to honor you as San Francisco State's 2010 Alumnus of the Year.
MR. RANDALL HAYES
Yeah, it's a real pleasure to be here. You students look great out there on this sunny day. It's true I remember a lot more foggy days when I was here. And thanks so much to the parents and family that have come to celebrate with everybody, the teachers who have inspired us all, as I was truly inspired by my work here at San Francisco State.
You know, when the Wall Street Journal calls you "an environmental pit bull," it's hard to imagine that I was actually a shy student here at State. And I don't know if it was the sex, drugs, and rock and roll that helped me get through that. I'm sure that was part of it; just add a little hip hop to the equation.
But one of my professors said, "Randy, I think you've got something to say. I want you to use one of your electives and take a speech class." One of the assignments in this speech class was to pick a topic that feels like nobody would -- could -- believe that this could ever be done, and your assignment is to convince them that it can indeed be done. And with my work to help protect the world's tropical rainforests, I feel like I'm still making that same speech.
But after 18 arrests, blockading the front doors to the International Monetary Fund, blockading the doors of the World Bank, hanging banners off of CitiBank, the world's largest private bank, and harassing Burger King until they quit buying cheap beef from the rainforests, we can count not only our arrests for nonviolent civil disobedience, but we can begin to count some of the victories. There are forests standing that wouldn't have been standing, indigenous people who may have been driven into cultural extinction now still flourishing. Just last week when was I was meeting with the director of Avatar, James Cameron, he had just returned from the mighty Amazon where he had met with the Kayapo Indians on the Xingu River. The Brazilian government wants to dam and flood ancestral territories. The warriors there told him that they would build a new village on the banks of the shores of that river where they want to start pouring the concrete. If people like him and people like yourself around the world would call out to stop that hydroelectric dam from flooding the Amazon -- that's a dam we stopped seven years ago, and now we have to stop it again.
Those are some of the things that can come about by following a very simple formula and that's for you all in your upcoming career to just really follow your particular passion. I'm sure you have something to say, so don't be shy. Get out there and say it. You know, work hard, party hard, and fight on. Thank you very much.
Today we are making an unprecedented honorary degree conferral. It is spurred by the need to address an injustice that, in the heat of World War II, tore 120,000 Japanese Americans on the west coast from their homes, livelihoods, and educations, sending them to internment camps .
Among the Japanese Americans forcibly removed by a prejudicial and deeply unjust action of our government were some 250 students at campuses that are now part of the California State University. San Francisco State was one of them, and we lost 19 students to that presidential order, E.O. 9066.
Our nation has come to recognize this injustice. In 1988, the Civil Liberties Act, signed by President Reagan, acknowledged that the internment of these Americans, without process of law, was shamefully wrong, and that reparations were due. Ten years later, this University took its own step, recognizing our 19 students at Commencement as honored alumni but we did not have the legal authority to actually grant them degrees.
Now, thanks to an act of the California Assembly and decision of the California State University board of trustees, we can do even more -- conferring on each of these students the honorary degree Bachelor of Humane Letters.
With me on the platform is trustee Carol Chandler, whose action at the board of trustees meeting last September helped to set this project in motion. Today we are honored that family members of two of our 19 students are here today. And I know that Carol would like to say something on behalf of the board of trustees, to these students and to this audience.
[TRUSTEE CHANDLER JOINS PRESIDENT CORRIGAN ON STAGE]
TRUSTEE CHANDLER :
Thank you, President Corrigan.
It is my honor and privilege to be with you today to help right a wrong that occurred some 60 years ago and, on behalf of the board of trustees, I joyously participate in this ceremony to award these honorary degrees that are much deserved. And I bring congratulations to all of you, the class of 2010.
Thank you. Today we are honored that family members of two of our 19 students are here today. Last night, we actually awarded three of the degrees to the recipients and earlier this morning, we did two additional ones. Their family is here, of the two that we awarded today, and I would like William Hirose is here on behalf of his brother, George Hirose, and Ken Miyake on behalf of his mother, Yoshiko Miya, to please stand and take applause on behalf of their family members.
[CROWD APLAUDS. HONOREES AND TRUSTEE CHANDLER RETURN TO SEATS, PRESIDENT REMAINS AT HIS PODIUM]
The President's Medal for Service is the highest award that the president of a California State University campus may bestow on his or her own authority.
It's conferred on rare occasions, the medal recognizes an individual whose work is long-lasting and widespread, and the benefits for the University and our society at large are manifest.
I can think of no more fitting a recipient than the man who is retiring from University service this summer, who I am about to introduce, SF State's Vice President for University Advancement, Lee Blitch. Lee will you please join me?
Lee Blitch, after a successful career as a telecommunications executive, and later as the head of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, you did what few do. You cast off the temptations of retirement and put your expertise to work for the benefit of San Francisco State Univeristy.
You came to us as a leader in the community, recognized as possessing unsurpassed skills in marketing and communications, and you brought these assets gained in the private sector to bear on the public good.
And what a difference you have made! You have sparked a renaissance in how SF State sees itself and how others see us. You have focused attnetion on the good work of our students,of our faculty and of our staff. You have strengthened the pride we feel in this institution. And, as you predicted, pride and recognition have led to increased resources for the University.
You and your team can point to an astounding 217 percent increase in donors and a 114 percent increase in gifts to the University -- to an alumni relations program that stretches around the world -- and to an advocacy effort that brings students, faculty, staff and parents together to speak out for SF State in Sacramento, Washington and elsewhere.
From the San Francisco Promise to the Willie L. Brown Leadership Center, the initiatives that you have sparked will continue to intertwine university and community for the betterment of both.
Lee Blitch, you have left a lasting mark on this University, and it is with deepest appreciation and admiration that I present you with the President's Medal for Service.
[PRESIDENT CORRIGAN PRESENTED LEE BLITCH WITH THE MEDAL]
VP LEE BLITCH :
Well, I'm shocked, I'm honored, I'm thrilled and I appreciate -- like this University is known for -- after 42 years in the private and non-profit sector -- that you took a chance on me to do this job and I really appreciate the fact that what they say in life is right: save the best until last. That's why they serve dessert at the end of the dinner and this is a great dessert for me, and I am proud to be associated with the class of 2010 and everything great about this University. Thank you, President Corrigan.
Today, we are also presenting a Presidential Medal to a distinguished member of our faculty: San Francisco State University Professor of Biology Frank Bayliss. Professor Bayliss, will you please join me.
Frank Bayliss, though you are a biologist by profession, we might equally well call you a conservationist. For you have made it your cause to nurture and preserve the greatest of all natural resources -- the human mind.
So superbly have you done that work that just a few months ago, you stood in the White House to receive a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from President Barak Obama. From literally America’s tens of thousands of faculty members throughout the United States, you were one of only 20 to be so honored.
You earned that award for the powerful initiative you have created and led here at SF State to identify, encourage and support students from groups that are severely underrepresented in science.
You cannot bear to see talent go to waste, and you recognized that when it does, not just individuals, but our society will suffer.
And so you created the Student Enrichment Opportunities office. You sought and you won millions of dollars in grants, so that students could afford to immerse themselves in science. You forged partnerships with colleagues at major research universities, giving our students a network of mentors.
The results have been spectacular for your students -- our students -- are earning PH.D.s from the nation’s most prestigious institutions, among which are Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Cal Tech, and Johns Hopkins.
Frank Bayliss, you have made SF State a national model. For your passion to cultivate the full stream of science talent, it is my great pleasure to present you with the President’s Medal for Service.
[PRESIDENT CORRIGAN PRESENTED FRANK BAYLISS WITH THE MEDAL]
PROFESSOR FRANK BAYLISS :
Thank you, President Corrigan. I just took the lead, I have to give a lot of credit to my colleagues in the College of Science. There are 150 faculty members who have invited students into their laboratories and have truly mentored them to become scientists, so I'm just part of this whole thing and I really want to acknowledge my colleagues. And, congratulations to you class of 2010.
Now, at commencement, we not only recognize that all that you our graduates do, those that you achieved as students. We look ahead to what you can accomplish as concerned citizens. The woman we are about to honor with the President's Medal is a dramatic and inspiring example of the power of the individual to change lives and thus our community.
Lateefah Simon, before you had turned 20, you had touched more lives than most of us will see in a lifetime, and you did this from the most difficult of starts. Growing up in San Francisco's Western Addition, you were working full-time for minimum wage at age 15, a schedule that threatened your high school education. But a fortuitous encounter,with the Center for Young Women's Development,eventually would change everything.
The center believes in youth helping youth. And you became an outreach worker, showing at-risk young women on the streets of San Francisco that they could shape safer, healthier lives. Leadership is one of your gifts. And by the time you were 19, you were the center's executive director, becoming one of the nation's youngest heads of a social service agency. In the 11 years you directed the center, you built the budget to $1.2 million and drew some 3,500 women a year into its programs. And so impressive was your work at the center that it did in fact attract national attention. At 26, you won a half-million-dollar MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Fellowship. And once again, you were one of the youngest to have achieved that distinction. Your life's work is advocating for the vulnerable, and helping members of marginalized groups find the path and the power to better lives.
In the San Francisco District Attorney's Office, you worked to keep young offenders from falling back into the juvenile justice system. And now, as executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights in the Bay Area, you are advancing the rights of communities of color, immigrants and refugees by litigating, advocating for just policies, and providing them with access to legal clinics and pro bono legal representation.
Lateefah Simon, you have been much honored, named California Woman of the Year by the California State Assembly, given a Jefferson Award for public service, and in 2009, included as one of the 20 women on Oprah Magazine's power list. We're proud today to add you to those awards.
You are a civil rights leader for our time, and it is my pleasure and honor to present you with the President's Medal for Service. Would you please step forward, Lateefah Simon.
[PRESIDENT CORRIGAN PRESENTED LATEEFAH SIMON WITH THE MEDAL]
So, Class of 2010, who better to speak for you today than the woman we have just honored? I'm delighted to present to you our commencement speaker, Lateefah Simon.
Are you all ready to change the world?
We need you. We need you. I want to thank your wonderful president and distinguished faculty, the administration, but let me step back. I want to thank the good people who spent all night setting up the chairs for us, setting up this stage for us. These are our mothers and fathers. Let's not forget the people who make our lives real are the folk typically not seen and not heard. You are their children. Make sure they are seen and they are heard.
I want to thank the parents, the foster parents. I want to thank the grandmas, I want to thank the grandfathers, I want to thank the aunts and uncles and the babysitters. Come on, right?
I want us to make sure today as we look out at the sea of Gators that you understand nothing was given to you. You earned this day. You earned this day. I want us to understand that today is about transformation, that today is about possibility.
Should I read the speech that's written or should I just preach?
[AUDIENCE: Preach. Preach.]
We're children of San Francisco, am I right? We are children of San Francisco. Am I right? That comes with great power and great responsibility.
And as I stand here in the depths of solidarity with all oppressed people, we must acknowledge as students, literally as evangelists of this great school, this great school that we are living the dreams of our grandparents.
I know that standing here clearly in this beautiful regalia -- I'm two semesters short of where you sit, so I know that nothing was given to you, everything was earned. In 1968 -- there are members here today of this great faculty, folks here in the bleachers, who decided black folks, Asian folks, the folks from the Pinoy, Latinos, Native American, young people, the elderly, folks who thought that they were learning-disabled but understood that the brilliance and the power of passion of living through poverty, that their brilliance came together in the form of the Third World Liberation Front, understand that through direct action on this campus, you all, you all -- the blood that lies within you that came from our grandparents -- during that time, set the stage for an ethnic studies revolution all over this country. The lack of access, the lack of understanding about culture and pride of indigenous people, of people of color from the diasporas all over the globe, our grandparents dropped that typology, that methodology and the pedagogy of hope to this campus.
One of the things today we must also understand in thinking about you and what you give, the people who are behind me are the best and the brightest, instructors who decided, who made a decision to come and teach the working-class freedom fighters, the healers, the ones who are the bearers of knowledge who will literally walk out of today and change the world; let's give it up for the faculty once again, and then we're going to talk back about you.
I want to think about that young woman who got her kids ready at 6:00 o'clock in the morning. I hear you. I know how it feels. And then you get to daycare, and the daycare woman is sick. And you got a class at 8:45, and you got to go to school. And think about that woman who was balancing the PTA work with her eight-page paper. I'm thinking about that woman who's also figuring out how with her partner, "Are they going to close down the library?"
When the library is closing, we have to fight for budget cuts so that your sisters never have to deal with that. I think about the young men and the young women who ask me every single day on the M, "can I get a holler?" -- trying to finish that last chapter, sometimes sitting on the ground with a book and the papers are flying. Nothing was given. You've earned this place. Look around you to the right and to the left. You've earned this place today.
And let me tell you what we need from you. As children of San Francisco and as children of the world who care about every inch of this city, I ask -- and my demand of you -- that we sweep up, we sweep up the pedagogy of hate and begin understanding that we as a people, the power that lies within us can reshape humanity right now.
That is not a cliché. Let me tell you what I'm talking about. Next year will be a very different year for students in the CSU. So when you walk out of here, understand that your voice is critical to making sure that your children and grandchildren and the children entering this college next year have the same experience that you did and/or better. Because I know the student who was in line trying to get the free computer in the computer lab last week, who couldn't go downtown and cop the new MacBook, you know what I'm talking about. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Education is earned. It is not given.
We thank you, parents, community. Applaud these freedom fighters. In this recognition, in this beautiful recognition of all you've done, in understanding the obstacles, I think of a couple stories -- and believe me, I have read a many -- the sea of Gatorship right here, every student has a story. Every story has obstacles. Nothing was given. It was earned.
But I think of the sister, Marilyn, who just came up here to speak. I get choked up thinking about her as a young mother myself, I had my daughter at the age of 19. She put that baby on her hip and she kicked down doors. And she will heal the city.
As I think about the young man who will speak to us later -- I'm not going to give his name, you'll see him later -- as he came from Japan to this great school looking for community, guess what? He found it and developed an organization for APIs, queer young people of color, understanding that who we are and what we represent must be here front and center. This young man is graduating today with a degree in sociology and will be going on to a doctoral program, understanding that queer pedagogy especially in communities of color, may be in fact the serum that will free our minds from hate.
San Francisco, let us be proud that today 7,000 students walk out of the gates of San Francisco [State] University stronger, ready to fight, understanding that we can'T go down the right or the road where we're splitting people up and taking babies away from mothers. Understand that the waters are dirty and that they need to be cleaned.
Understand that the environment is our mother. Understand that education is a right and not a privilege. Understand that guns need to be taken out of people's hands so that children don't die. Understand that the healers, the brilliance, the captivating elements that you all are will save this city and this nation and hopefully this world.
You cannot rest on your laurels of now having this degree, this bachelor's degree, this master's degree and the School of Education graduating their first cohort of doctors today. We can't rest on the laurels of just our brilliance.
Let's get in the mud and change the fabric of this country so that we could see a real freedom. Freedom looks like this, when students of color, low-income white students, students from across our borders have a physical, mental, and spiritual place to play leader.
Now it's time to go out and change this world. We need you now more than ever. And I say that through humility -- yes, leading organizations is difficult -- but there is nothing more difficult than being a homeless family downtown facing eviction. Doing a 20-page paper with a horrible old school laptop is difficult, but it's all good because it's a lot easier than being an asylum-seeking refugee who cannot go home.
Standing here in your gown thinking about what is going to become of Monday, the jobs are not there, well, knock down doors like Sister Girl and make it happen. You are a Gator.
Nelson Mandela said so eloquently, "As soon as you get to the top of the hill, by God, you see that there's another hill."
The favorite quote that keeps me thinking about how to move further to save the communities that I care so much about, where I will raise my children, I think about days like this where we are honoring the beauty of all that we are and how hard we worked, when Dr. King stood in front of that beautiful church a few nights before his demise, and he said to a group of brilliant young people like yourself and some of you all, "It done took you 25 years, but God darn it, you're here." It's all good. But he said to a group of young folks, untenured folks like yourself, he said, "Don't be satisfied. Do not be satisfied. Don't be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream."
This must be your beginning. Do not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream. Please heal this nation. Never wait for a politician to give you freedom. Freedom rests in the hearts and minds and souls of the working class. Thank you.
She want so to know if that was okay. Was that okay?
Wow. Thank you, Ms. Simon for truly inspiring words. We are so grateful to you.
Listen up, Class of 2010! 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!
Always remember that you are as exceptionally talented and as well-educated a group as can be found anywhere in this country.
You are graduating into a world of extraordinary challenges; we know that you will rise to meet them!
We now begin the Conferral of Degrees. University Provost Sue Rosser and Dean of Graduate Studies Ann Hallum will present the candidates for the Doctoral Degree.
San Francisco State University offers four doctoral degree programs: Doctor of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Physical Therapy Science, both in partnership with the University of California San Francisco; Doctor of Philosophy in Education, Special Education emphasis, in partnership with the University of California Berkeley, and -- our newest doctoral program -- Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, which we offer independently. Today, we are delighted to celebrate the first group to graduate from this program.
With us on the platform are students who represent their fellow doctoral graduates. We will invest each of them with an academic hood, on behalf of all their classmates.
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 awarding both the Doctor of Physical Therapy and the Doctor of Physical Therapy Science degree. We are conferring these degrees with the University of California, San Francisco.
Will Jennifer Kinder please come forward for hooding by Dean Hallum.
[MS. KINDER CAME TO THE STAGE, STOOD BETWEEN THE PODIA]
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, Jennifer Kinder 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, Jennifer Kinder, the degree, Doctor of Physical Therapy Science, with all the rights, honors and opportunities attached thereto.
[DEAN HALLUM PLACED THE HOOD ON MS. KINDER, ALL SHOOK HANDS. MS. KINDER RETURNED TO HER SEAT]
Will Jonathan Ide-Don please come forward for hooding by Dean Hallum.
[MR. IDE-DON CAME TO THE STAGE, STOOD BETWEEN THE PODIA]
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, Jonathan Ide-Don is presented for receipt of the degree Doctor of Physical Therapy.
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, Jonathan Ide-Don, the degree, Doctor of Physical Therapy, with all the rights, honors and opportunities attached thereto.
[DEAN HALLUM PLACED THE HOOD ON MR. IDE-DON, ALL SHOOK HANDS. Mr. IDE-DON RETURNED TO HIS SEAT]
As President Corrigan mentioned, today we graduate the first group of students to receive the degree Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. This is an independent degree offered by the California State University.
Representing this class is Vincent Charles Matthews. Mr. Matthews, please come forward for hooding by Dean Hallum.
[MR. MATTHEWS CAME TO THE STAGE, STOOD BETWEEN THE PODIA]
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, Vincent Charles Matthews is presented for receipt of the degree Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. I would add that Mr. Matthews is already an education leader: he has just been named Superintendent of Schools for the San Jose Unified School District.
Would all the members of our inaugural class in this doctoral program who are present today please stand.
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 under the provisions of the Donahoe Higher Education Act, I confer upon you, Vincent Charles Matthews, the degree, Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, with all the rights, honors and opportunities attached thereto.
[DEAN HALLUM PLACED THE HOOD ON MR. MATTHEWS, ALL SHOOK HANDS. Mr. MATTHEWS RETURNED TO HIS SEAT]
Will all the Doctor of Education graduates please be seated.
[DEAN HALLUM AND PRESIDENT CORRIGAN RETURNED TO THEIR SEATS, PROVOST ROSSER REMAINED AT PODIUM]
It is time to introduce the graduating students on the platform whom President Corrigan mentioned earlier -- our 2010 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 2010.
Would the hood recipients and the respective deans please come forward.
[HOOD RECIPIENTS AND DEANS CAME FORWARD]
Audience, please hold your applause until all the hood recipients have been presented.
Representing all students receiving their master's degree today is Mr. Michael Buckle, who is receiving a Master of Science in Kiinesiology, with a concentration in Physical Activity, Social Scinetific Perspectives.
[DEAN HALLUM AND MR. BUCKLE STEPPED FORWARD FROM THE LINE AND STOOD CENTER FRONT OF STAGE, BETWEEN LECTERNS. DEAN HALLUM HELD THE HOOD]
San Mateo Police Sergeant Michael Buckle directs the police activities league -- PAL -- which uses sport and physical activity to help underserved, at-risk youths. He felt that PAL could do more to address San Mateo’s problems with growing gang tensions, school suspensions, and violent assaults. During a graduate course, Mr. Buckle encountered a youth development model that teaches life skills through physical activity. He used the model to create a soccer program for a group of self-identified gang members, then analyzed the results. Participants showed greater respect, self-control and self-direction, and greatly reduced police contacts, suspensions and arrests. Mr. Buckle has presented his research at two national professional conferences.
Dean of the Graduate Division, Ann Hallum, will now present the hood.
[DEAN HALLUM HOODED MR. BUCKLE, SHOOK HIS HAND]
Mr. Haruki Eda, a Sociology major, has been selected to receive the investiture in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences..
[DEAN KASSIOLA AND MR. EDA COME FORWARD]
When Haruki Eda arrived in San Francisco from Japan, he struggled to find a community to which he truly belonged. He describes himself as “a mixed queer Zainichi Korean man.” Zainichi -- ethnic Koreans living in Japan -- often face discrimination there. Mr. Eda is committed to working with oppressed communities. He founded an organization for queer Asian and Pacific Islander students on campus and volunteered for a city youth program serving this population. He has also excelled academically, presenting his original research at a professional sociology meeting. He plans to earn a doctorate.
Joel Kassiola, Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences will now confer the hood.
[DEAN KASSIOLA HOODED MR. EDA, SHOOK HIS HAND, BOTH RETURN TO LINE]
Representing all of today's graduates in the College of Business is Mr. Sergey Bubnou a Corporate Finance major.
[DEAN HAYES AND MR. BUBNOU COME FORWARD]
When Sergey Bubnou, came to the U.S. From his native Belarus, he spoke no English, and the only job he could find was loading cars onto trains. After work, he taught himself English. He was now ready for the university. At SF State. Mr. Bubnou became a leader in the Student Finance Organization, secured a coveted internship at a San Francisco securities investment bank, and earned top grades-- all while working as a cab driver and waiter. He plans an advanced degree and a career in investment banking or asset management. A happy postscript: last week, Mr. Bubnou became a U.S. Citizen!
College of Business Dean Nancy Hayes will confer the hood.
[DEAN HAYES HOODED MR. BUBNOU, SHOOK HIS HAND]
Ms. Sarah Elizabeth Gould, a Dance major, has been selected to receive the hood on behalf of all graduates in the College of Creative Arts.
[DEAN DAW AND MS. GOULD COME FORWARD]
One of Sarah Gould’s professors has said that “her presence in class is a boon to both instructor and students alike.” An outstanding performer, Ms. Gould was selected to join the dance program's touring company, The University Dance Theater, which performs in Bay Area public schools and other community settings. An equally talented choreographer, she saw one of her pieces performed this spring in Golden Gate Park during National Dance Week. After graduation, she plans to dance in Bay Area companies and eventually to earn a master's degree in choreography or dance medicine.
The Dean of the College of Creative Arts, Kurt Daw, will confer the hood.
[DEAN DAW HOODED MS. GOULD, SHOOK HER HAND]
Ms. Vania Silva, a Communicative Disorders major, has been selected to receive the hood for the College of Education.
[ASSOCIATE DEAN IRVINE AND MS. SILVA CAME FORWARD]
The daughter of a nurse, Vania always felt drawn to caregiving professions, but her Brazilian father fuelled her interest in accent and language. She decided to become a speech-language pathologist -- combining her caring nature with studies in language and science. While earning her degree, Vania volunteered at California Pacific Medical Center and, as an officer in the campus chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association, organized events to raise awareness and funds to support individuals with communication disorders. This fall, she will enter our Communicative Disorders Master’s Program.
The Associate Dean of the College of Education, Patricia Irvine, will confer the hood.
[ASSOCIATE DEAN IRVINE HOODED MS. SILVA, SHOOK HER HAND]
Mr. Kyle Joseph Johnson, a major in Africana Studies, has been selected to receive the hood for the College of Ethnic Studies.
Today, Kyle Johnson becomes the first in his family to graduate from college. He does so with distinction. While pursuing his degree in Africana Studies -- earning top grades -- he contributed to an archival research project at the Institute For The Advanced Study of Black Family Life and Culture; tutored classmates, sharing his strong writing skills; and served as editor of the upcoming annual issue of The Africana Studies Journal -- all while holding down a 30-hour a week job. He plans to earn a PH.D. In Clinical Psychology so that he can give back to his community as a counselor to children and families.
The Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies, Kenneth Monteiro, will confer the hood.
[DEAN MONTEIRO HOODED MR. JOHNSON, SHOOK HIS HAND]
Ms. Cheryl Leah Fulton, a major in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, with a minor in Holistic health, has been selected to receive the investiture in the College of Health and Human Services.
[DEAN TAYLOR AND MS. FULTON STEP FORWARD]
Five years ago, after many years in the restaurant and catering business, Ms. Fulton sought a new career path. She began working in the activities department of a nursing home, found it deeply satisfying, and discovered that SF State offered the perfect program for her. Juggling single motherhood -- she has two daughters -- college and catering, Ms. Fulton still found time to volunteer in the community. She plans to obtain certification as a Recreation Specialist and to start her own business offering daylong recreation programs to seniors with an outdoor/nature emphasis.
The Dean of the College of Health and Human Services, Don Taylor, will confer the hood.
[DEAN TAYLOR HOODED MS. FULTON, SHOOK HER HAND]
Ms. Peiying Ma, a Foreign Languages major, concentrating in Italian, has been selected to receive the hood on behalf of all graduates in the College of Humanities.
[DEAN SHERWIN AND MS. MA STEP FORWARD]
Peiying Ma has already attained an unusually expansive vision of our diverse, interdependent world. Born and raised in Shanghai, she studied English in high school, then found herself attracted by the beauty of the Italian language. She came to the U.S., earned an associate degree in International Business, and moved on to SF State to study Italian. While pursuing her studies, she worked at an international consulting firm. Ms. Ma is now as fluent in Italian as inChinese and English and is seeking a career that will draw on her trilingual abilities.
Paul Sherwin, Dean of the College of Humanities, will confer the hood.
[DEAN SHERWIN HOODED MS. MA, SHOOK HER HAND]
Ms. Marilyn D. Thomas, a Microbiology major , has been selected to receive the hood on behalf of all graduates in the College of Science and Engineering.
[DEAN AXLER AND MS. THOMAS STEP FORWARD]
You have already met Ms. Thomas, but let me add that this summer, she will be teaching a post-baccalaureate chemistry course at SF State for a class of high-achieving individuals who have already earned bachelor’s degrees, been in the work force, and are now changing careers.
Sheldon Axler, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering, will confer the hood.
[DEAN AXLER HOODED MS. THOMAS, SHOOK HER HAND]
Ms. Kailani Moran, a Liberal Studies major, has been selected to receive the hood on behalf of all Lliberal Studies and Special Major graduates.
[DEAN EVANS AND MS. MORAN STEP FORWARD]
Kailani Moran has demonstrated a passion for learning, graduating at the top of her class. Studying Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology has taught her to tackle problems from multiple perspectives, but it was an Ethnic Studies class that showed her her career path. Learning about inequalities in the public school system sparked her desire to make a difference in the world by teaching and improving the quality of public education. She enjoys working with young children and plans to become a pre-school or elementary school teacher.
Dean of Undergraduate Studies Gail Evans will now confer the hood.
[DEAN EVANS HOODED MS. MORAN, SHOOK HER HAND]
We are tremendously proud of these outstanding students. Please join me in a round of applause for our 2010 hood recipients!
[DEANS AND HOOD RECIPIENTS RETURNED TO THEIR SEATS, PROVOST ROSSER REMAINED AT THE PODIUM]
We now begin the conferral of Master's and Bachelor's degrees. University Provost Sue Rosser will 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 of the University by 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 be guiding you to the stages, row by row.
Will the deans please go to their respective stages.
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 graduates from the Colleges of Health and Human Services, Science and Engineering, Education, Humanities and Creative Arts.
And to the stage on the left of the screen, Liberal Studies/Special Major graduates and graduates from the Colleges of Business, Ethnic Studies, and Behavioral and Social Sciences.
[DEANS DISTRIBUTE DIPLOMAS TO THEIR RESPECTIVE GRADUATES]
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 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 degrees.
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 degree 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. You've just graduated!
Members of the audience, I present to you the class of 2010! Please join me in a round of applause for all of them. Class of 2010, 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 of your dreams.
God bless you all!
The faculty marshals will now guide the bachelor's degree recipients to the stage, row by row, starting from the front.
Coming forward to the stage on the right of the jumbo screen will be graduates from the Colleges of Health and Human Services, Creative Arts, Humanities, Science and Engineering and Education.
And to the stage on the left of the screen, Liberal Studies/Special Major graduates and graduates from the Colleges of Business, Ethnic Studies, and Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Deans distribute diplomas as before, students exit stadium after receiving their diplomas.
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