Aug 07, 2020
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Fresno State ends main commencement ceremony for 2020, cites declining participation

Fresno State is making significant changes to spring 2020 graduation ceremonies. 

The university will no longer hold a main commencement ceremony honoring the entire graduating class, but instead will opt for separate ceremonies by specific school/college, according to a news release from college president Dr. Joseph I. Castro.

Castro said Fresno State will be joining 21 out of the 23 California State University campuses that no longer host main commencement ceremonies. 

Graduates will be able to participate in a number of ceremonies for their specific school or college, plus others, such as Asian American and Pacific Islander, the College Assistance Migrant Program, International Students and Rainbow Graduation. 

In the news release Castro said attendance at the main commencement ceremony had been declining in recent years as affinity ceremonies have become popular. In the May 2019 main commencement ceremony, only 703 graduates out of the class of almost 6,000 participated, according to the news release.

Chicano/Latino Commencement, which is the largest of all the ceremonies, will again be held at the Save Mart Center. It will be live-streamed to the Student Recreation Center in case the Save Mart Center reaches maximum capacity, as it did in 2019.

Here is the list of when and where various celebrations will be held:

Commencement and celebration ceremonies at the Save Mart Center:

Friday, May 15:

  • Craig School of Business, 8 a.m.
  • College of Social Sciences, 10:15 a.m.
  • College of Arts and Humanities, 12:30 p.m.
  • Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, 2:45 p.m.
  • College of Science and Mathematics, 5 p.m.
  • Kremen School of Education and Human Development, 7:15 p.m.

Saturday, May 16:

  • Lyles College of Engineering, 8 a.m.
  • College of Health and Human Services, 10:15 a.m.
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander graduation ceremony, 12:30 p.m.
  • African American recognition program, 3 p.m.
  • Chicano/Latino Commencement Celebration, 7 p.m. — In anticipation of another full-capacity audience like last year, the celebration will be live-streamed to the Student Recreation Center to accommodate any overflow attendees if Save Mart Center reaches maximum capacity, as it did last year.

Other celebrations around campus:

Friday, May 8:

  • EOP graduation recognition ceremony, 4 p.m., Satellite Student Union

Friday, May 15:

  • Department of Physical Therapy, 9 a.m., Satellite Student Union
  • Athletic Training Program Promotion Ceremony, 5 p.m., North Gym 118

Saturday, May 16:

  • College Assistance Migrant Program, noon, North Gym 118
  • International Students Commencement Celebration, noon, Satellite Student Union
  • American Indian Graduation Honoring, 1 p.m., Table Mountain Rancheria Reading Room
  • ROTC Commissioning Ceremony, 4 p.m., Satellite Student Union
  • Rainbow Graduation Celebration, 5 p.m., Peters Educational Center in Student Recreation Center
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