University moves graduation ceremony to the afternoon

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This year’s Fresno State University Commencement will take place in the afternoon instead of the morning for the first time since 2004.

Students and guests are invited to the Save Mart Center on Saturday, May 18, at 1:30 p.m. for the celebration.

“I think graduation ceremonies take place too early,” said psychology student Iris Zavala, who will receive her degree in May. “So I am very happy the commencement will be in the afternoon.”

The ceremony honors every student who graduates in the academic year. Fresno State President Dr. Joseph I. Castro officially confers each graduate with his or her undergraduate, master’s or doctoral degrees.

The event will shift time slots this year since all eight colleges will have their designated ceremonies on either May 17 or May 18. 

Commencement will be the last graduation ceremony of the academic year, after students have attended the graduations of their respective colleges.

“The commencement is a time where every student—no matter their major or degree—can be united in one room, where we can all celebrate our academic accomplishments together,” social work major and future graduate Jenny Hernandez said.

“Moving the ceremony from morning to afternoon and scheduling it as the last event allows every student to attend,” Hernandez continued. “We can all go, whether we graduate with our college the day before the university commencement, or the day of.”

Hernandez will graduate with the College of Health and Human Services on May 18 at 10:15 a.m., right before commencement begins.

“It’s a back-to-back ceremony for me,” Hernandez said. 

Meanwhile, other students graduate the day before the ceremony, but still plan to attend the commencement because it takes place in the afternoon. 

“I know I will be celebrating until the late night on May 17,” Zavala said, who will graduate with the College of Science and Mathematics on Friday at 5 p.m. “I’m glad I will be able to sleep in the next day, so I can join my friends from other colleges and celebrate together at the commencement.”

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