SF State News {University Communications}

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News Release

SF State's 107th Commencement this weekend

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to address the University’s largest graduating class


SAN FRANCISCO, May 23, 2008 -- San Francisco State University’s Commencement on Saturday, May 24, 2008, promises to provide exciting and inspirational presentations for 8,178 graduates, the largest in SF State history. More than 20,000 guests are expected to attend the exercises, which will feature speeches by Mayor Gavin Newsom, Alumnus of the Year Joseph White and graduating senior Andrew Hines.

The gates to Cox Stadium open at 10 a.m. on May 24. Graduates will line up by noon in the stadium for the processional at 12:15 p.m. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.

Keynote address
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will deliver the keynote address. Mayor Newsom has partnered with SF State on a variety of initiatives and programs since becoming San Francisco's 42nd mayor in 2004. Among these partnerships is SF Promise, a program that guarantees acceptance to SF State for San Francisco high school students who qualify for college. Now serving his second term, Mayor Newsom enjoys an international reputation for innovative solutions to problems ranging from homelessness and healthcare to climate change, and was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders.

Honorees during the ceremony include a pioneer in black psychology and three honorary degrees for distinguished public figures who have contributed greatly to their professions and society.

Alumnus of the Year
Psychologist and activist Joseph L. White, Ph.D., (B.A. ‘54, M.A. ‘58) has been named 2008 Alumnus of the Year for his work in bringing the experience of ethnic minorities into mainstream psychology. White’s work influenced the evolution of black psychology, playing major roles in establishing the Association of Black Psychologists, CSU-wide Educational Opportunities Program and SF State’s Black Studies Program. White earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and developmental psychology from Michigan State University during the height of the civil rights movement.

Student Commencement Speaker
The student speaker is decision sciences and statistics major Andrew Hines, Hood Recipient for the College of Business. At age 17, Hines began Apex Precision Surfboards, one of the first surfboard manufacturers to use advanced computer-aided design technology. He is president of the SF State Decision Sciences Student Association, which he founded in 2003. Hines plans to pursue a Ph.D. in management science and engineering at Stanford.

Honorary Degrees
The honorary doctor of humane letters degree will be conferred to Manny Mashouf (B.A. ‘66), founder and chairman of bebe stores inc. and member of the SF State College of Business Advisory Board; Walter Johnson, Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus for the San Francisco Labor Council; and Isabel Allende, author, teacher and philanthropist. Mashouf’s degree will be conferred by SF State; Johnson and Allende will receive their degrees from the CSU system.

Manny Mashouf
Mashouf went from a small clothing store owner on San Francisco’s Polk Street to overseeing a publicly traded company with more than 300 stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico -- named one of the fastest-growing small companies in the U.S. by BusinessWeek. Mashouf, who has served as a member of the SF State College of Business Advisory Board for nearly a decade, was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame in 2003 and named 2005 Alumnus of the Year. With Neda Mashouf, he made the biggest donation in SF State history -- a $10 million gift in 2005 to help fund a new building for the College of Creative Arts.

Walter Johnson
Johnson, a leader in the labor union movement, rose through the ranks of the Retail Clerks Union, Local 1100, where he fought for the rights of women, people of color, and gays and lesbians working in stores across San Francisco. Now secretary-treasurer emeritus of the San Francisco Labor Council, Johnson used his position to get unfairly-fired workers back into jobs, enable women to climb the career ladder and fight other injustices in the workplace. Johnson has also shared his expertise with SF State as a member of the President’s Advisory Board and the advisory boards for the Labor Studies Program and the Labor Archives.

Isabel Allende
Best-selling author, philanthropist and social activist, Allende has devoted her life to giving voice and opportunity to women and children fleeing war, famine, poverty and persecution. The Isabel Allende Foundation supports organizations and programs that support reproductive rights and fair pay for women in Africa, Asia and Latin America, among other endeavors. The most widely read Latin American female author in the world, Allende is a recipient of numerous literary awards and author of 17 books. She has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1987.


Student Writer Lisa Rau contributed to this press release.
Photos are available upon request.


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