SJSU Celebrates 2016 Commencement

Photo: David Schmitz

Photo: David Schmitz

Media contact:
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations, 408-924-1748, pat.harris@sjsu.edu

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University concluded the year with its largest graduating class ever and a commencement speaker who pulled no punches while telling SJSU’s newest alumni that the fate of the nation rests on their shoulders.

More than 9,000 students received degrees this year, including approximately 2,000 engineering majors, 1,000 business majors, and thousands more majors in the arts and sciences.

They will enter the working world or begin coursework toward advanced degrees as colleges and universities nationwide continue to address campus unrest over race relations, equity and safety.

Harry Edwards

Photo: David Schmitz

Photo: David Schmitz

Photo: Christina Olivas

Photo: Christina Olivas

There was perhaps no better time for alumnus Harry Edwards to return to serve as the commencement speaker on May 28 in Spartan Stadium. It was his first major address at SJSU since leaving campus in a cloud of controversy a half century ago.

Born and raised in the Midwest, Edwards came to California to attend college, arriving during the middle of the civil rights movement. He finished his degree, and then began a doctoral program at Cornell University while teaching at SJSU.

It was then that he became nationally known as the outspoken leader for the Olympic Project for Human Rights, which exposed the inequities experienced by black athletes representing the nation abroad while fettered by racism at home.

Edwards was a major influence on Tommie Smith and John Carlos, SJSU students and track and field stars who medaled at the 1968 Olympics. They leveraged their moment in the spotlight to take a stand for human rights, then were expelled from the Games and admonished by many, angered by the politicization of the international event.

Once known as a dangerous militant, this year’s commencement speaker is now recognized for his role in the civil rights movement.

“Harry Edwards is a renowned sociologist and author,” Interim President Susan Martin said, adding his contributions “represent the ideals of the California State University and San Jose State University.”

Tribute

Perhaps the most poignant moment of commencement came when Edwards rose to receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the California State University.

CSU Trustee Steven Stepanek bestowed the honor, assisted by John York, co-chair of the San Francisco 49ers. York and Edwards appeared together, a rare glimpse into the personal nature of the relationship between the professor and the team.

In addition to serving as a teacher, author and father, Edwards carves out time to work with the 49ers, something he began back when desegregation of professional sports was fresh and new.

His role has been to help coaches and players from very different backgrounds work and grow together. He was especially close to the late Bill Walsh, the 49ers coach and fellow SJSU alumnus who took the team to three Super Bowls in the 1980s.

A note from Walsh to Edwards is among the items in a new collection at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. The video and prepared remarks from today’s speech are available online.

Speech

Photo: Christina Olivas

Photo: Christina Olivas

Photo: Christina Olivas

Photo: Christina Olivas

Edwards opened with a bit of humor, vowing to keep the speech short: “That’s an exceedingly high bar to achieve — especially for a sociologist!”

His messages were simple: “keep the faith,” “do not be afraid,” “continue the struggle.”

But his thoughts were rooted in the complex academic theories he spent a lifetime studying, discussing and practicing, especially what it means to live in a participatory democracy.

“The difference between a mob and a movement,” he said, “is that a movement not only organizes and mobilizes around an issue — it gets people out to vote!”

In these ways, he addressed the question on everyone’s mind — what can today’s activists learn from those of yesteryear? — while encouraging youths to confront and prevail over the greatest challenges of our time.

“One day,” he concluded, “someone standing at this very podium, overlooking some future graduating class, may well feel compelled to the judgement that you, members of the 2016 San Jose State University graduating class, were part of our ‘greatest generation.’”

Tradition

Edwards’ deep voice thundered through Spartan Stadium, midway through a ceremony steeped in tradition. Top graduates were recognized, beloved professors honored, a moment of silence held in memory of classmates who passed away.

One tradition that takes on extra meaning at SJSU is the moment when the president invites all the graduates to stand and thank family and friends for their support over the years.

Given that more than half of the graduates are the first in their families to earn college degrees, this never fails to bring forth sustained applause from the graduates on the field, and tears from their loved ones in the stands.

Of course there comes a point at any commencement when the graduates can’t hold back any longer, and today was no different. Once again, exuberance erupted as degrees were conferred, tassels moved from left to right, and beach balls appeared.

Congratulations, class of 2016!

See and share photos and messages from commencement with #SJSU16 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 32,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

 

Chicano Commencement Honors Students and Their Families

A moment to remember at the 2015 Chicano Commencement (Photo: Sergio Estrada | Estrada Photos).

A moment to remember at the 2015 Chicano Commencement (Photo: Sergio Estrada | Estrada Photos).

In 1968, a group of Chicano students participating in the San Jose State commencement ceremony at Spartan Stadium peacefully walked out of the president’s speech in protest of lackluster resources and in support for students of color. They created their own “Chicano Commencement” to celebrate their accomplishments, and a tradition was born.

Now 48 years later, Chicano Commencement has evolved into an elaborate event where participating students invite loved ones on stage, give speeches and share cultural food while enjoying mariachi music. The event is one of several dozen convocations and receptions held annually by departments, programs and student groups.

“This is rooted in history,” said Lizbet Huizar, ’16 MA Mexican American Studies  and co-chair for Chicano Commencement. “Back in the day, it was just a few parents putting together a potluck and through the years, it’s expanded to what we see now, which is a $50,000 celebration.”

By hosting fundraisers on campus, participants of each year’s commencement aim to raise $50,000 toward planning and supplying an event location, food and entertainment. The organization is currently $15,000 shy of their goal.

Loved Ones

Photo: Sergio Estrada | Estrada Photos

Honoring friends and family in 2015 (Photo: Sergio Estrada).

Photo: Sergio Estrada

2015 caps (Photo: Sergio Estrada).

Huizar said 60 graduates will enter the Event Center accompanied by two loved ones and have the opportunity to bestow “Stoles of Gratitude” to their loved ones in honor of their support.

“I thought this was a perfect thing to add to find different ways to connect our parents even more to this ceremony,” Huizar said.

For Irma Flores, ’16 Behavioral Science, her family support system eased her “rollercoaster” of a transition when she learned she was pregnant in her second semester at SJSU.

Flores comes from a family of hard workers; her grandfather came to the U.S. as a fieldworker as part of the Bracero Program in the 1940s, her mother cleaned houses and her father has worked in the fields during Flores’ upbringing.

“My mom has always told me ‘go to school’ and she’s always pushed that on me,” Flores said. “I just wanted to be a good role model for my daughter because I wanted her to grow up with everything I didn’t have.”

Andrea Fernandez, ’16 Communication Studies and co-chair of Chicano Commencement, said she believes the ceremony is as much about celebrating family and loved ones of graduates as it is for the students who participate.

“I want to recognize all the families and friends present because they are a huge part of the journey here as Spartans,” Fernandez said.

Progress

Some journeys prove to be historically bumpier than others, and only flourish by an aspiration for a better life.

Andrea Ruiz, ’16 Public Relations, is the programming chair of the ceremony and has been fueled by her parent’s journey from Oaxaca, Mexico, to the United States.

“I’ve realized the biggest thing that they’ve ever granted me was the ability to dream,” Ruiz said. “[Chicano Commencement] highlights how we can progress as a culture, as a community, that change is coming.”

In 1969, 11 students participated in the commencement protest and now 60 students will grace the Event Center stage as part of this historic event. But Fernandez wants those numbers to steadily increase for years to come.

“I think it just shouldn’t be 60, I think it should be every single Latino and Chicano student who is graduating. It’s almost like a hidden gem of the university that people find out through word of mouth,” Fernandez said. “Our focus is to make it as inclusive for anybody who attends just as it is for their graduates, so I think it brings cultural awareness to the campus as well.”

Activism

‘This year Damien Trujillo,’93 Journalism, will take a break from his reporting gig at NBC Bay Area to deliver the keynote speech, a speech that Fernandez said she hopes resonates with the emerging professionals.

Most notably though, Huizar said Chicano Commencement’s legacy should endure through the activist spirit on which it was founded.

“We’ve really emphasized this year that this is an organization of activism. It’s not the same as before, when you would get out and go protest, but there is still this responsibility that you have to help your community in any way possible,” Huizar said. “I feel like these graduates are going to go out there, do whatever they can, wherever they work, as they now have knowledge of what it means to be a Chicano or Chicana.”

 

World-Renowned Sports Sociologist and SJSU Alumnus Harry Edwards to Serve as 2016 Commencement Speaker

Media contact:
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations, 408-924-1748, pat.harris@sjsu.edu

Harry Edwards speaks at a campus event in May 2012 (photo: Christina Olivas)

Harry Edwards speaks at a campus event in May 2012 (photo: Christina Olivas)

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University announced today that human and civil rights icon Harry Edwards, ’64 Sociology, will serve as its 2016 Commencement speaker. In addition, Edwards will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Commencement. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. May 28 at Spartan Stadium. The event will be streamed live on the university’s website.

“Harry Edwards came to San Jose State to pursue an education while representing the university in intercollegiate athletics, and he accomplished both with extraordinary distinction,” said SJSU Interim President Susan Martin. “Dr. Edwards went on to dedicate his life to developing innovative approaches for raising the nation’s consciousness about the hidden inequities and barriers that exist in our society through his work in athletics. We are proud to recognize his contributions with an honorary degree and look forward to hearing him address our graduates.”

This academic year, an estimated 9,000 San Jose State students will earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Approximately 15,000 family members and friends are expected to attend Commencement.

Harry Edwards

Harry Edwards, 73, was born in St. Louis, Mo., and raised in East St. Louis, Ill., the second of eight children. With no more than a third-grade education, his father supported the family and encouraged Harry to take advantage of the opportunities the sports world provided.

Edwards followed through, excelling in sports and academics in high school. With financial support from a St. Louis-area attorney, he arrived in California to attend Fresno City College on a track and basketball scholarship. He later transferred to San Jose State University, where he served as captain of the basketball team and set school records for the discus.

Edwards set SJSU records for the discus (courtesy of Spartan Athletics).

Edwards set SJSU records for the discus (courtesy of Spartan Athletics).

After graduating in 1964 with a degree in sociology, Edwards had three choices: professional football, professional basketball, or graduate school. He chose graduate school, and began work on master’s and doctoral degrees at Cornell University in New York. After completing his master’s degree, he took a break from his studies to return to San Jose State, where he worked as a part-time instructor of sociology.

The year was 1966, and the civil rights movement was in full swing. Drawing on his childhood experiences, his years as a college athlete, his academic training, and his desire to educate, Edwards began gaining national attention for speaking out on the inequities he perceived in the nation and the sports world.

“During the 1967 college football season, Edwards, then a part-time instructor… presented a list of civil rights grievances to the administration on behalf of the school’s black students, particularly its athletes. Edwards’s group threatened to ‘physically interfere’ with the opening game if demands were not met. It was a regional watershed in radical sports activism, and the mainstream reaction was also a first; the opening game was canceled,” according to The New York Times.

Taking a Stand

The following year brought the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy. Edwards lent his voice and support to the Olympic Project for Human Rights, a movement calling upon black athletes to boycott the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Watching television in the United States, Edwards observed SJSU track stars and U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos take a stand for human rights on the awards podium.

Harry Edwards and Sandra Boze Edwards met at SJSU, and have been married 47 years (courtesy of Mr. Edwards)

Harry Edwards and Sandra Boze Edwards met at SJSU (courtesy of Mr. Edwards).

At the time, all three men were heavily criticized for their actions. Three decades later, San Jose State student leaders recognized the courage of these Spartans by memorializing the moment with a 24-foot tall sculpture in the heart of our campus.

Edwards went on to earn a doctoral degree from Cornell University in 1971, and to begin a distinguished, three-decade career as a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. A giant of a man with a caring presence, his “Sociology of Sports” course was among the most popular on campus.

During that time, he remained in constant contact with the professional sports world, where he served as a consultant to two luminaries who also graduated from San Jose State: Major League Baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, ’59 Business, and the late San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Bill Walsh, ’55 BA, ’58 MA Education.

Providing Opportunity

In addition, Edwards worked with the Golden State Warriors and the University of Florida. In all of these roles, he sought to develop practices and programs to increase minority representation in the coaching ranks and to support players of color as they navigated the opportunities and pressures of college and professional sports. Edwards delivered a moving eulogy for Walsh, summarizing the ways they sought to provide opportunities to all NFL players.

Harry Edwards is the author of four books: “The Struggle That Must Be,” “Sociology of Sports,” “Black Students,” and “The Revolt of the Black Athlete.” He has been married for 47 years to Sandra Boze Edwards, ’70 BA Liberal Studies, ’88 MA Education. The couple resides in Fremont, Calif., and they are the parents of three now adult children: a lawyer, a physician, and an information technology/computer programming specialist.


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 32,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

Nancy_feature

Congrats, 2015 Graduates!

By Melissa Anderson, Executive Communications Specialist

Photo: David Schmitz

Photo: David Schmitz

San Jose State University graduates received congratulations and advice on being prepared for the circuitous route life often takes from U.S. House of Representative Leader Nancy Pelosi and honorary degree recipient Bob Ladouceur at Commencement May 23 in Spartan Stadium.

The Saturday event celebrated this year’s more than 8,500 students who earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in a wide range of disciplines from seven colleges at SJSU.

Family members and guests arrived as early as 7:30 a.m. to find an optimal seat to see graduates on the stadium floor. Occasional bubbles floated up from the stadium on the cool morning breeze as guests waited for the ceremony to start. One mother waited along the edge of the stands and dropped an orchid lei down to her child as the graduates processed into the stadium.

Many graduates donned decorated caps acknowledging the hard work to complete their degrees, while others emphasized their future plans. Others decorated their caps to evoke solidarity with their classmates—a swath of students from the College of Humanities and the Arts sat together with the same design on their caps.

“You become part of Spartan Nation,” said President Mohammad Qayoumi, during the ceremony. “Well over 200,000 Spartan alumni from all walks of life are making a difference in every corner of the world.”

Pelosi congratulated the students on joining the CSU Class of 3 Million. The 23-campus system has conferred degrees to 1 in 20 college graduates in the United States, with the alumni roster growing to three million with the class of 2015 graduates.

Nancy Pelosi is the perfect candidate to speak to us today because she embodies the grit and determination that make us Spartans,” Qayoumi said, introducing Pelosi.

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

In her remarks, Pelosi touched on the beauty of diversity at SJSU.

“Have confidence in your education and be proud of your experience as one of the most diverse classes in America—and I might add 50 percent women,” she said. “The beauty is in the mix. It is true of San Francisco and it is true of this graduating class. Trust in the value of diverse and different perspectives.”

She also reflected on San Jose State’s influence on its surrounding community.

“You have been studying and living in the cradle of innovation,” she said. “You haven’t just been living here and going to school here. This school has contributed to the success of Silicon Valley in important ways.”

Pelosi shared a personal story of how she consulted her youngest child, a high school senior, before running for Congress.

“I never imagined one day I would go from the kitchen to Congress, from being a homemaker to a House speaker,” she said. “The opportunity was presented and I had to take inventory to be sure I was ready.”

Pelosi ran and has represented California’s 12th House district for more than 27 years.

“Leave here with the confidence that you are ready,” Pelosi said. “Know that you have been empowered by the strength of your value, the excellence of your education and the support of your families. When you encounter opportunities, be ready.”

During the ceremony, President Qayoumi conferred an honorary doctorate of humane letters to Bob Ladouceur, ’77 Criminal Justice, whose astounding 12-season, 151-game winning streak coaching football at De La Salle High School is the subject of the movie, When the Game Stands Tall.

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

Ladouceur, who played on the Spartan football team for two years as a student, shared how his journey to becoming a legendary football coach was indirect.

“My graduation from San Jose State was not an end point, but another beginning in my education,” he said, noting that his chosen field of criminal justice had few openings the year he completed his degree. “It was one of the curveballs life throws you. I retooled (my goals.) Two years later on a whim I answered a job announcement and that was where I spent the last 35 years.”

Ladouceur credited his education at SJSU with making him a lifelong learner who has always sought the truth.

“Continue your education independently or formally,” he said. “Be proud and be thankful. Seek out your parents, support groups and show gratitude. As we said after every practice on this field and every game, ‘It’s great to be a Spartan.’”

Following the speeches, the deans each took the podium to confer the master’s and bachelor’s degrees upon the graduates. As the ceremony finished, the graduates joined in singing the alma mater while guests cheered.

See and share photos and messages from commencement with #SJSU15 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Bob Ladouceur

Legendary Coach Receives Honorary Degree

Ladouceur

Bob Ladouceur

(All members of the media must RSVP by May 9. Email SJSU Media Relations Director Pat Harris at pat.harris@sjsu.edu. Plan to report to the west entrance of Spartan Stadium no later than 8:30 a.m. May 23.)

Media contact:
Pat Harris, SJSU Media Relations Director, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University announced today that educator and former De La Salle High School head football coach Bob Ladouceur, ’77 Criminal Justice, will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Commencement. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. May 23 at Spartan Stadium.

“Bob Ladouceur’s dedication to teaching and mentoring young people embodies the ideals, objectives and vision of San Jose State University and the California State University,” said SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi. “To Coach Ladouceur, integrity and character always mattered more than wins and losses. I can’t think of a better role model for graduates to emulate.”

This academic year, more than 8,700 San Jose State students will earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in a wide range of fields, from business, engineering and nursing to humanities and the arts. Approximately 15,000 family members and friends are expected to attend.

About Bob Ladouceur

Bob Ladouceur’s astounding 12-season, 151-game winning streak at De La Salle is the subject of the movie, When the Game Stands Tall. His career began at SJSU, where he played Spartan football for two seasons. He went on to work as a juvenile hall counselor while studying theology at St. Mary’s College, where he earned a master’s degree.

Ladouceur discovered his calling when his friend, fellow SJSU alumnus and high school football coach Rob Stockberger, invited him to one of his games. In 1979, Ladouceur was hired as a teacher and head football coach at De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif. At that time, the school had never had a winning season.

During his 34-year tenure, the team never had a losing season again; the team earned the most victories in state history. Ladouceur has received many awards as a teacher and coach. He has been inducted into the SJSU Spartan Sports Hall of Fame and the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 134 areas of study with 110 concentrations—offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 30,000 students and nearly 4,000 employees, San Jose State continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

 

Big Dreams for Spring 2015

Just a touch of rain greeted 30,000 Spartans heading to campus for the first week of spring term 2015.

This includes 500 new transfer students and 450 new graduate students making the transition to SJSU.

It’s time to dream big, with everyone is settling into new classes in hopes of earning good grades.

Check out the new student success centers and growing Student Academic Success Services staff, along with Ask Me tables across campus.

Of course friends can help, too. Many of our over 400 student organizations are recruiting new members outdoors this week.

The discussion continues on how to help San Jose State become an even more welcoming community.

Famed Princeton Professor Cornel West, author of “Race Matters,” will speak at April 9. You might remember him from “The Matrix” movies.

Spring term ends with Honors Convocation and Commencement. Finally, all that hard work pays off for more than 7,000 new grads.

Does this include you? Claim your place in history and enter a drawing for a $10,000 scholarship for you or someone of your choice.

List your profile on the CSU Class of 3 Million yearbook. This major milestone signifies the huge influence our alumni have in shaping California.

It’s true SJSU students and alumni are excelling every day in many ways. There are lots of reasons to be a proud Spartan!

San Jose Mercury News: SJSU Graduation Celebrates Grit, Sacrifice

Posted May 24, 2014 by the San Jose Mercury News.

By Lisa Krieger

Some of the biggest lessons that electrical engineer Donald Flowers II, learned at school happened outside the classroom. Discipline. Time management. Financial budgeting. Focus.

“You cannot give up,” said the 34-year-old Flowers, one of several thousand ebullient San Jose State students celebrating their Saturday graduation in Spartan Stadium’s bright morning sun.

“It takes sacrifice,” he said. “At holidays, I’d be sitting around the table with my whole family, with my laptop open.”

Flowers reflects the kind of success the university has made its mission: offering working students — many of them older or immigrants and transfers from two-year campuses — the intellectual rigor and credentials needed to lift themselves securely into the middle class.

Read the full story. 

 

Nancy McFadden, ’84 Political Science

Commencement Honors Exemplary Graduates

Media contact:
Pat Lopes Harris, pat.harris@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – Distinguished graduates whose lives and significant achievements serve as examples to our students will be honored during Commencement, beginning at 9:30 a.m. May 24 in Spartan Stadium.

More than 8,500 candidates who completed their studies in August 2013, December 2013 and May 2014 will be eligible to participate in the annual ceremony.

Nancy McFadden, ’84 Political Science

Nancy McFadden, ’84 Political Science

Nancy McFadden, ’84 Political Science, will serve as Commencement speaker and receive an honorary Doctorate of Laws. She worked as a senior administration official for President Clinton and two California governors.  

“Nancy McFadden worked hard to earn positions at the highest levels of public service, always giving back to the communities she calls home,” President Mohammad Qayoumi said.

The late William Hauck, ’63 Social Science, will receive a posthumous honorary Doctorate of Laws. Hauck worked in senior positions for Governor Wilson and three Assembly speakers.

“Rising from student body president to top leadership roles in Sacramento, Bill Hauck was a lifelong supporter of our students and our mission,” President Qayoumi said.

Nancy McFadden

A Bay Area native, McFadden attended law school at the University of Virginia. Prior to her current appointment as executive secretary for legislation, appointments, and policy to Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., she held multiple executive positions within PG&E Corporation, including senior vice president and senior advisor to the chairman and CEO, and senior vice president of public affairs.

William Hauck, ’63 Social Science

William Hauck, ’63 Social Science

McFadden spent nearly two decades serving as political and policy advisor to California Governor Gray Davis and as a senior member of the Clinton administration.

She is a member of the board of trustees for The California Museum and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and serves on numerous boards for social and environmental organizations.

William Hauck

A prominent figure in the California Capitol for decades, Hauck worked in senior positions for three Democratic Assembly speakers—Jesse Unruh, Bob Moretti and Willie Brown. He was also deputy chief of staff to Governor Pete Wilson and a trusted adviser to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Hauck joined Goddard Claussen/West as senior advisor in late 2011. From 1996 to 2011, he served as president and CEO of the California Business Roundtable, a leading public policy advocacy association.

Hauck served on the board of Blue Shield of California. He also contributed generously to an annual CSU trustee scholarship that benefits San Jose State students who have overcome great obstacles.

San Jose State University — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

2014 Top Seniors & Outstanding Thesis Awards

2014 Top Seniors & Outstanding Thesis Awards

San Jose State President Mohammad Qayoumi will recognize this year’s top graduates at Commencement, which begins at 9:30 a.m. May 24, 2014. Isra Ahmad and Terri McBride have been named SJSU’s 2014 Outstanding Graduating Seniors for their leadership roles on and off campus, contributions to the community, and personal contributions as undergraduates. Karen Parker and Danielle Crawford are the 2014 Outstanding Thesis Award recipients, in recognition of their quality level of research.

2014 Top Seniors & Outstanding Thesis Awards

Isra Ahmad volunteers at a local food bank.

Isra Ahmad graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health science and recreation in December 2013. With a final GPA of 3.805, she believes her real-world experience as a health advocate enhanced her education in the classroom. She graduates with a 3.805 GPA. On campus, she focused on tobacco-use issues as a leader for Campuses Organized and United for Good Health (COUGH). For the Northern California Society for Public Health Educators, she distributed more than 2,000 campus surveys and organized a public forum on the campus’ smoking policy. Ahmad says her most memorable contribution took place off campus, educating mothers about healthy food choices at a local Second Harvest Food Bank. Ahmad will start a master’s in public health, with a concentration in epidemiology and biostatistics, at UC Berkeley in the fall. She plans to teach at the university level.

2014 Top Seniors & Outstanding Thesis Awards

Danielle Crawford reads Joy Kogawa’s Obasan.

Danielle Crawford graduated in May 2013 with a master’s degree in English. For her thesis, “A Girlhood of Myth, Dreams, and Trauma: Redefining the Asian North American Female Bildungroman,” she studied how three novels, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard’s When the Rainbow Goddess Wept (1991), Lan Cao’s Monkey Bridge (1997), and Joy Kogawa’s Obasan (1981), challenged the conventions of European coming-of-age novels through the factors of myth, dreams, and trauma. Crawford says her research is important beyond academics, providing insight on historical trauma. She says she is grateful to her department at SJSU for giving her the opportunity to teach, which reconfirmed her long-term goals of becoming a professor. Crawford is currently a PhD student at UC Santa Cruz.

Terri McBride at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) with professor and MARC director Leslee Parr and MARC peer Yolanda Hunt.

Terri McBride at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) with professor and MARC director Leslee Parr and MARC peer Yolanda Hunt.

Terri McBride will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in biological science (molecular biology). She was working toward a nutrition degree, before switching majors to biological science, which she’ll complete with a 3.948 GPA. At SJSU, she served as a leader of the Nutrition and Food Science Club and as a tutor for College of Science and Advising Center and Learning Assistance Resource Center. Off campus, she is a petty officer first class in the United States Coast Guard Reserve, and has volunteered at youth outreach events with TechGYRLS, the Bay Area Science Festival and the San Joaquin Expanding Your Horizons Conference. She is currently studying for the MCAT and hopes to attend a post-baccalaureate program at Stanford. Her goal is to be a physician scientist and continue her research in oncology, while bringing care to low-income and disadvantaged people.

2014 Top Seniors & Outstanding Thesis Awards

Karen Parker built a computer model of alga.

Karen Parker graduated with a master’s in marine science in December 2013. Parker has combined her new degree with 10 years of experience in the semiconductor industry to create a new career: biological oceanography. For her thesis, “Metabolic Network Construction Based on the Genome of the Marine Diatom Thalassiosira Pseudonana and the Analysis of Genome-Wide Transcriptome Data to Investigate Triacylglyceride Accumulation,” Parker used genomic data to build a computer model of a marine diatom—microscopic alga that converts light from the sun into chemical energy, which can be used as biofuel for cars and jets. Her research may have implications for the future of carbon-neutral fuels and for reducing greenhouse gases associated with climate change. She says her educational experience at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories has given her the skills to successfully pursue her goal of working on a computational system biology research and development team.

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Honoring 45 Years of Teaching, Counseling and Fighting

Photo: J.P. Tran, '14 Graphic Design

Photo: J.P. Tran, ’14 Graphic Design

“After 45 years, Mohammad will go to the mountain.”

With that, President Qayoumi strode off the stage and through the crowd to hand deliver a very special honor at the 15th Annual Faculty Service Recognition and Awards Luncheon on March 11 at the Student Union’s Barrett Ballroom.

Seated near the front of the room, surrounded by friends and colleagues, was Wiggsy Sivertsen. Her official record includes stints as a counselor and faculty member.

But just as important has been her unofficial role as the heart and soul of San Jose State for more than four decades.

As the sun sets on my career, I can truly say that this has been the ride of my life,” Sivertsen said. “So many students have taught me and touched my life. My colleagues have enriched me.”

Student centered

Also recognized at this annual event were more than 120 faculty members with 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service, as well as the recipients of the university’s top annual awards for faculty members.

The luncheon is always filled with faculty and staff members and administrators. But this year, sitting quietly in chairs off to the side of the room were a half-dozen students.

Carrying flowers for their professor, they talked their way in to see Distinguished Service Award Recipient Julia Curry Rodriguez.

And it was there on the floor, while the proceedings continued on stage, that teacher and students quietly celebrated the connection at the core of the luncheon.

Fighting for rights

Similarly, Sivertsen dedicated her entire career to service in the classroom and beyond, focusing on educating the public about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities and fighting for the rights of all.

Soon after arriving at SJSU in 1968, she established the first gay student organization. She went on to co-found the Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee, a four-county LGBT political action group.

In the 1980s, she taught in the sociology department and later spent 11 years as director of counseling services.

Sivertsen has received numerous honors, including the American Civil Liberties Union “Don Edwards Defender of Constitutional Liberty Award.”

Thank you for your visionary leadership and dedication to San Jose State University,” said the commendation hand-delivered by the president.

“Your exemplary career of counseling and your tireless service and advocacy to the cause of civil rights attest to your lifetime spirited fight for equality.”

 

Business Convocation

Congrats, Grads!

Business Convocation

Hundreds of names were announced across all of the different business concentrations, as graduates each had their moment on stage (Stan Olszewski photo).

(In May, SJSU Today’s small but mighty band of writers and photographers took a peek at graduation receptions and convocations campuswide so we could share with you the excitement of the more than 8,000 members of the Class of 2013. We’ve posted more photos on Facebook. In this story, we visit the College of Business convocation.)

The Event Center lights dimmed to almost complete darkness Friday morning. With a guiding spotlight, the College of Business and the Lucas Graduate School of Business faculty and convocation speaker Wanda Ginner, ’68 Business Administration, proceeded down the center aisle to the stage.

Then with much applause and excitement, the class of 2013 made their entrance, filling up rows of chairs.

Dean David Steele passed on three beliefs that he hoped this group of graduates would share: “the power of networking,” “giving back” and “having a passion for success.”

Convocation speaker Ginner, a semi-retired certified public accountant and consultant, later spoke of the fulfillment that she received in giving back to her university and this college, including influencing her husband and friends to get involved, too.

This is Sparta

Student Address speaker Jasmine Rezai, a Gary J. Sbona Honors Program participant, spoke of her transformation from an 18-year-old girl to the 23-year-old woman standing before them and all of the knowledge, experiences and friendships she has gained over the years.

“As life throws you curve balls, I hope you remember your times at San Jose State,” she said.

Rezai recited a poem by Persian poet Hafez that she dedicated to her loved ones: 

Even
After
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth
“You owe me.”
Look
What happens
With a love like that.
It lights the
Whole
Sky.

Blowing a kiss their way and with her voice cracking, she said, “Thanks for lighting the whole sky for me. This is for you.”

To end her speech, she quoted a line from her favorite film, “Gladiator,” starring Russell Crowe: “What we do in this life echoes into eternity.”

She added, “This is Sparta. Let us show the world what a Spartan is made of. ”

The Wave

Hundreds of names were announced across all of the different business concentrations, as graduates each had their moment on stage.

In the meantime, with a bit of prompting, half of the seated graduates attempted to perform the wave, the famous audience cheer perfected by No. 1 Spartan Athletics fan Krazy George Henderson. From the front row to the back, they sprang onto their feet and raised their arms freely, stretching toward the sky. They delighted the audience when they succeeded.

Then when the last name was read aloud, there were shouts of joy and celebration among the graduates, culminating in an even larger wave.

Shout-Outs

In a recent survey, SJSU asked new grads if they would like to send a shout-out to family and friends. Here are some of the responses we received from business majors of various concentrations. More will be shared at Commencement.

Rohini Venkatesh: “The counselors at College of Business are the best. They provide great support to students in selecting their classes and their majors. I appreciate their patience for last minute walk-ins.”

Victor Mantilla: “I would like to acknowledge the EOP program for allowing me to meet similar individuals. And personal shout-outs to my current and previous roommates, for you all know me at my best and at my worst.”

Quacy Superville: “I would like to thank my family for helping make this day a reality. I leave this institution armed with the ability to make change, the desire to be different and the passion to persevere. #T&T #SLB”

KTVU: Thousands Graduate from San Jose State

KTVU: Thousands Graduate from San Jose State

KTVU: Thousands Graduate from San Jose State

Click to view the story.

Post by KTVU May 24, 2013.

KTVU’s Maureen Naylor interviews new SJSU graduates, and learns that “when the student gets the diploma, in some ways, the whole family is graduating” and that “there are a lot of stories behind each diploma.” Naylor was on campus May 24 for many departmental and college convocations, which took place one day before the university-wide Commencement at Spartan Stadium.

Engineering Convocation Slideshow

Engineering Convocation: “Architects of the Future”

Engineering Convocation: “Be Confident and Dream Big”

Dean Andrew Hsu congratulated the 750 bachelor and master’s candidates for their achievement in one of the “most challenging programs on campus.” (Stan Olszewski photo)

(This week, SJSU Today’s small but mighty band of writers and photographers will take a peek at graduation receptions and convocations campuswide so we can share with you the excitement of the more than 8,000 members of the Class of 2013. We’ll post more photos on Facebook.)

The flash of cameras danced to the rhythm of “Pomp and Circumstance” in SJSU’s Event Center May 24 as family and friends whistled, jumped up and down, and flailed their hands to get the attention of loved one walking to their seats center-arena at the College of Engineering convocation.

Dean Andrew Hsu opened the ceremony by welcoming proud parents, family, faculty and staff members. Before turning the event over to the keynote speaker, Hsu congratulated the 750 bachelor and master’s candidates for their achievement in one of the “most challenging programs on campus.”

Hsu closed by commending graduates on their “abilities and ethics to build a career and make the world a better place” and told them to “be confident and dream big.”

In his address, Animatics Co-Founder and CEO Robert Bigler talked about the challenges he faced turning his SJSU senior project into a motion control and automation company. The key, he said, was his SJSU education and “extracting positive insight from failure.”

Bigler advised graduates to “dedicate yourself to the process and there will be no limits” and reminded them “we are in the middle of a technological renaissance; you will be architects of what will be an extremely new future,” he said.

Shout-Outs

In a recent survey, SJSU asked new grads if they would like to send a shout out to family and friends. Here are some of the responses we received from child and adolescent development majors. More will be shared at Commencement.

Drupa Desai: “I would like to give a shout out to Prof. Avtar Singh who has played a great role in my years at SJSU. He has been great motivation and inspiration.

Elnaz Morad: “Mom, you are the sun of my life, Vahid you are the sunshine of my life and Golnaz you are the joy of my life. Thanks for your support.”

Ian Lopez Aguilar: “To my wife Daisy and daughter Isabella for all the support!”

Humanities Convocation

Humanities Department Convocation: “Well-Rounded”

Humanities Department Convocation: "A Well-Rounded Education"

“San Jose State gives us the tools to go out into the world and make it a better place if we use everything that San Jose State has to give to make a change,” Valedictorian Jessica Apple told her fellow humanities graduates. (Stan Olszewski photo)

(This week, SJSU Today’s small but mighty band of writers and photographers will take a peek at graduation receptions and convocations campuswide so we can share with you the excitement of the more than 8,000 members of the Class of 2013. We’ll post more photos on Facebook.)

Representing degrees in humanities, liberal studies or religious studies, the Humanities Convocation on May 23 at Morris Daily Auditorium celebrated individuals who will influence and change the lives of others, many by becoming teachers.

When asked by Associate Professor and Liberal Studies Coordinator Susan Verducci how many of them were first-generation college graduates, roughly half of the group raised their hands.

All of the graduates overall were the lucky ones, according to Humanities Department salutatorian Maimona Afzal. A SJSU 2013 Outstanding Graduating Senior, Afzal wrote an impassioned speech presented in spoken word style.

Her booming voice was full of anger as she passionately spoke about societal challenges and injustices in education — dropout rates and economic disadvantages among others — and how despite all this, this group made it through and can change a child’s life.

This is a path she herself will follow. Afzal has accepted a position at Teach for America, where she will be working with special needs children in East San Jose.

Valedictorian Jessica Apple, who also plans to become a teacher, shared a game that she played with incoming freshmen at orientation, when she would ask, “If I had a magic wand I would _______.”

Magic Wand

The freshmen would fill in the blank with their dreams of making the world a better place. Afterwards, she would tell them SJSU will prepare them well to make their dreams come true.

“San Jose State gives us the tools to go out into the world and make it a better place if we use everything that San Jose State has to give to make a change,” she said.

The components of everyone’s own figurative magic wand, she said, are optimism, self-confidence and skills and knowledge.

In the role of Honored Speaker, Lecturer Judith Georges addressed the graduates about being liberal arts scholars in the center of Silicon Valley in the diverse but expensive Bay Area.

“We don’t know how to use a wafer to build a chip. We think it better to serve wafers and chips to elementary school kids,” she quipped, drawing laughter from the graduates and audience.

In spite of this, she said these humanities graduates are also nerds in their fields by tackling the challenge of being well-rounded people academically.

She imparted on them what she described as a sacred trust: “Be defenders of a well-rounded education.”

Shout-Outs

In a recent survey, SJSU asked new grads if they would like to send a shout-out to family and friends. Here are some of the responses we received from humanities and liberal studies majors. More will be shared at Commencement.

Michael Reinken: “Dr. Ormsbee, thank you for pushing me academically like no one else and being a mentor and friend.”

Megan Mohacsi: “Thank you to my friends and family who have always believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself, especially my fiance, Ian who has always been right by my side.”

Sarah Limongelli: “Thank you Professor McCraw for always putting his students first, a little something every teacher and future teacher could learn.”

Economics Convocation: “Success Here And Now”

Economics Convocation: “Success Here And Now”

Economics Convocation

Each member of the economic department’s Class of 2013 was called to the stage and invited to offer thanks to friends, family, peers and professors. (Stan Olszewski photo)

(This week, SJSU Today’s small but mighty band of writers and photographers will take a peek at graduation receptions and convocations campuswide so we can share with you the excitement of the more than 8,000 members of the Class of 2013. We’ll post more photos on Facebook.)

The high acoustic ceilings of the Music Concert Hall resonated with the sounds of proud supporters Thursday night as guests of all ages found their way to comfortable seating at the Department of Economics convocation.

Chair Lydia Ortega opened the ceremony by welcoming friends, family and “cheerleaders,” and urging graduates to focus on success “here and now.”

Ortega’s talk was followed by a slideshow accompanied by Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World.” In the presentation, grads gave thanks and expressed their appreciation for family and friends.

Special awards were then given to faculty and students for “keeping alive the vitality of the department and economic ideas.”

Leading Balanced Lives

In his keynote address, Lecturer Martin Kropelnicki opened by saying people who understand and maximize their skills lead the happiest and most balanced in lives.

Kropelnicki urged graduates to think rationally and learn how to solve problems. He emphasized the importance of obtaining moral fiber by “understanding boundaries,” “knowing how to act,” “being prepared for mental challenges” and “not compromising principles.”

He closed by listing the top 10 attributes business employers look for including ethics, ambition, optimism, communication and organizational courage.

Ortega and Associate Professor Jeffrey Hummel called each member of the Class of 2013 by name and provided everyone with the opportunity to offer thanks to friends, family, peers and professors.

Shout-Outs

In a recent survey, SJSU asked new grads if they would like to send a shout out to family and friends. Here are some of the responses we received from child and adolescent development majors. More will be shared at Commencement.

Tod Holland: “I want to thank my mother for the love and emotional support she gave me during my time here. She was my inspiration for going to college in the first place.”

Megan Swartzwelder: “Thanks to my family for all the love and support!!!”

Travis Tesarek: “To my wife Michele, I could not have done it without your love and support.”

 

Cisco CEO Address Honors Convocation

Cisco CEO Address Honors Convocation

SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi and California State University Board Chair Bob Linscheid hood Cisco CEO John Chambers after he received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters (Robert Bain photo).

A willingness to “change the rules,” “take risks” and “constantly reinvent” are the hallmarks of strong companies and universities, said Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers at the 51st Annual Honors Convocation held April 26 in the Event Center.

Chambers received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at the gathering, which celebrates SJSU’s top academic performers, including over 250 Spartans who earned 4.0 GPAs. Family and friends packed the stands to cheer for honorees, who were seated in rows blanketing the full length of the floor.

One of the most remarkable things about attending an event like this one at SJSU is many of the people in the stands don’t have college degrees themselves, but they recognize the value of their loved ones’ achievements. So they liked when Chambers credited universities with making our region an international powerhouse.

But he emphasized San Jose State must have the “courage and conviction” to innovate or risk being “left behind.” Referencing SJSU’s online initiatives, he urged this campus to lead the CSU and the nation through tough times because those at the head of the pack are the product not of their successes but their “setbacks and challenges.”

And what about the topic on the minds of the many students about to graduate? After noting that six percent of Cisco’s workers worldwide are SJSU alumni, Chambers closed by saying, “we are still recruiting” and “we would like to see the best and brightest at Cisco.”

Read a guest column by Chambers, addressed to the Class of 2013, in the San Jose Mercury News.

“Finding Your Niche” Child & Adolescent Development Convocation

Child & Adolescent Development Convocation: “Finding Your Niche”

“Finding Your Niche” Child & Adolescent Development Convocation

As child and adolescent development graduates embarked on a “commitment to a life of service,” they shared memories of lighter moments that reminded them “it only takes one teacher to make a difference.” (Stanley Olszewski photo)

(This week, SJSU Today’s small but mighty band of writers and photographers will take a peek at graduation receptions and convocations campuswide so we can share with you the excitement of the more than 8,000 members of the Class of 2013. We’ll post more photos on Facebook.)

The sun glistened high over Tower Lawn late Wednesday afternoon, as families and guests snapped photos and conversed while awaiting the Department of Child and Adolescent Development convocation.

The graduates’ supporters snapped, leg-clapped and swayed to Smokey Robinson’s “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and The Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love,” while the incandescent Tower Hall provided the perfect finishing touch to this energetic crowd.

The master of ceremonies, Lecturer Donna Bee-Gates, opened the event by welcoming the graduates, families and friends. She told grads that she was “awed” by their hard work, persistence and ability to overcome challenges.

Staying Connected

Before turning over the ceremony to Elaine Chin, dean of the Connie L. Lurie College of Education, Bee-Gates reminded graduates to “stay connected” to what they loved and to keep “excited and engaged.”

In her welcome address, Dean Chin entrusted full faith in the graduates who would provide “tremendous service for the communities they would serve” and commended graduates on their forthcoming “commitment to a life of service.”

Child and Adolescent Development Club President Michelle Doan spoke next, thanking Lecturer Cheri Reaves for teaching her that “everything we do is purposeful” and sharing a vignette about checking out tadpoles with a child to remind her fellow “teacher child advocates and beyond” that “it only takes one teacher to make a difference.”

The Most Significant Watermarks

An entertaining and compelling keynote speech followed by “humanitarian entrepreneur” Jon Talbert, who carried on the theme of the important role of the educator by saying “the most significant watermarks come from your teachers.”

Talbert reminisced about his kindergarten teacher, who challenged him to conquer the monkey bars on the first day of class with the lesson that “sometimes there will be things you will have to climb up over and down to get to what’s best.”

Talbert concluded his speech with advice for graduates to “find and keep doing their genius niche,” “have the courage in teachable moments” and “use power words that win.”

Shout-Outs

In a recent survey, SJSU asked new grads if they would like to send a shout out to family and friends. Here are some of the responses we received from child and adolescent development majors. More will be shared at Commencement.

Elizabeth Yanez: “I would like to thank my whole family for always being there for me through the beginning of this journey.”

Emerald Green: “I want to thank all of the students who have supported me and befriended me since my freshman year. You have all inspired me in many ways to continue to be who I am and reach my full potential.”

Fatima Hussain: “To all my awesome professors: thanks!”

woman and daughter in graduation outfit hugging

Educational Opportunity Program Convocation: “Inspire”

EOP Commencement

Vanessa Gordon addresses the audience after earning the Outstanding Service Award at the 2013 EOP Graduation Ceremony (Stanley Olszewski photo).

(This week, SJSU Today’s small but mighty band of writers and photographers will take a peek at graduation receptions and convocations campuswide so we can share with you the excitement of the more than 8,000 members of the Class of 2013. We’ll post more photos on Facebook.)

The Tommie Smith and John Carlos Statue towered over attendees of the Educational Opportunity Program graduation ceremony, as participants, staff and guests enjoyed an array of foods and drinks prior to the event.

On this breezy May evening, the voices of individuals who have come so far echoed back toward nearby Clark Hall. Keynote speaker Shaun Tai, ’07 Interdisciplinary Studies, shared his voice as a Spartan who founded Oakland Digital, a nonprofit organization “that provides digital literacy education to small businesses and professional development training to students” in Oakland and the rest of the East Bay.

“Find your inspiration,” Tai said. “Inspire your community and inspire the world, starting today and starting right now.”

Coleetta McElroy, ’97 Public Administration, introduced these newly minted alumni to the benefits of the SJSU Alumni Association, announcing that EOP had taken care of a one-year membership for all.

McElroy, SJSU director of financial aid and scholarship, also called up each individual one by one. Many of the 54 graduates listed on the back of the program were in attendance with their loved ones.

Each person received one to two minutes behind the podium to share his or her appreciation. Some comments elicited chuckles such as thanking EOP for providing free food over the years, while more than one student’s gratitude for their mothers encouraged tears.

Inspiring words and inspirational people walked hand in hand among the group. Graduate Van Nguyen, a sharply dressed bespectacled man who identified himself as being in his 80s, shared a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quote: “Not everybody can be famous, but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”

Graduates Vanessa Gordon and Long Kieu earned the Outstanding Community Service Award and the Maria D.L.C. Romo Award, respectively.

Gordon thanked her parents, saying, “I want to make them proud and show that I could do it.”

Kieu gave a shout-out to his younger sister in the audience, who found out she was attending his ceremony at the last minute. “I want to show her, ‘You’re an inspiration to me,'” he said. “… Because of you, I want to be a role model for you.”

Sammy Spartan in class

Cramming? We’re Here to Help!

Sammy Spartan in class

It’s time to take those exams! Go Sammy go!

Check out all the exam week specials offered by Parking Services, King Library, Spartan Shops, Spartan Bookstore, Associated Students and Housing Services:

“Any holders of park-and-ride permits or one-day-a-week or two-day-a-week parking permits can park on campus May 15 through May 22. So even if you don’t have a full-price permit, you can park in campus garages during exam week. The park-and-ride shuttles will operate Wed., May 15, through Tues., May 21.” — Denny Yau, Parking Services assistant manager

“King Library will be open all night during much of exam week. Get the details here. On Fourth Cafe will be open until midnight on May 14, 15, 16, 19 and 20. Before cafe workers leave for the night, they will set up a free coffee stand for students hitting the books through the night. On May 17, the cafe closes at 5 p.m., so coffee will be available beginning around 5:30 p.m.” — Bridget Kowalczyk, King Library senior assistant librarian

“Spartan Shops is ready to help you prepare for finals! Our eateries will have special, extended hours during finals week, including On Fourth Cafe which will close at midnight for everyone studying late at King Library. To start the first day of finals, find our Nesquik team in front of the Village Market 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wed., May 15, and get a free bottle of Nesquik chocolate milk! Plus, find pencils, scantrons, green books, and drinks at our various dining locations.” — Stephanie Fabian, Spartan Shops marketing manager

“The Spartan Bookstore is here for all of your exam and graduation needs!! We have blue books, scantrons, pencils and smiling employees ready to wish you the best on your final exams! For your convenience, we will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sat., May 18 and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sat., May 25. Good Luck Spartans!!” — Ryland Metzinger, Spartan Bookstore director

“Students can usually find a quiet space in the A.S. House Fireside Room during business hours. The A.S. Student Programming Board hands out snacks and other giveaways across campus during exam week. The Computer Services Center will open early at 7:30 a.m., and the Print Shop will be open extended hours 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fri., May 24.” — Kelli Williams, Associated Students associate executive director

“In order to better meet the study needs of all housing residents, the Living Learning Center (LLC) located on the first floor of Campus Village Building B has expanded its hours during finals. The LLC will now be open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily through Tues., May 21. This space is designed for group and individual study, with quiet study after 8 p.m.” — Stephanie G. Hubbard, Residential Life associate director

Commencement is right around the corner! Check out what Sammy’s been up to as he prepares to graduate.

52-connie-inpost

Philanthropist to Serve as Commencement Speaker

Honorary Doctorate for Philanthropist Connie L. Lurie

Philanthropist Connie L. Lurie will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Commencement (photo courtesy of Connie L. Lurie).

Media contacts:
Pat Lopes Harris, 408-656-6999

SAN JOSE, CA – SJSU’s 2013 Commencement speaker will be philanthropist and alumna Connie L. Lurie. She will also receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at the event, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. May 25 in Spartan Stadium.

Approximately 8,000 candidates who completed their studies in August 2012, December 2012 and May 2013 will be eligible to participate.

“Connie Lurie’s lifetime dedication and exceptional generosity to San Jose State, as well as her visionary philanthropic spirit and positive impact on the Bay Area as a whole, merit these honors,” President Mohammad Qayoumi said.

Always an educator

Lurie graduated from San Jose State in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and psychology. She taught in elementary schools on the Monterey Peninsula for six years and later ventured into real estate investment.  She was the executive director of Who’s Who International, and served as an admissions counselor for Heald Business College.

In her heart, Lurie has always been an educator. She established the Guardian Scholars program, which provides support and mentorship to former foster youths at SJSU. In 1998, she endowed the university’s Lurie Author-in-Residence program.

Lurie has been involved in many worthwhile causes throughout the Bay Area and California. She has served on boards for numerous organizations, including Strive for College. She has served as an advisory trustee for the California State Parks Foundation for more than 30 years.

University’s highest honor

In 2008, Lurie received the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Distinguished Alumni Award and the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice’s Citizen Involvement Award. Lurie remains a very active supporter of her alma mater. In 2000, she was the founder of Spartans in the Desert, an annual gathering for SJSU supporters. She also provided funding for the database that formed the backbone for SJSU’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign.

In 2006, SJSU presented Lurie with the Tower Award, the university’s highest honor, and in 2007, the CSU Board of Trustees granted SJSU the naming of the Connie L. Lurie College of Education, in recognition of her visionary service and support, including a $10 million gift.

San Jose State University — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.