(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:
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth
“You owe me.”
With a love like that.
It lights the
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. ”
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.
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”