News Release| Commencement; Diversity; CSULA; Cal State L.A.; Los Angeles; CSU

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Media Advisory: Friday-Saturday, June 12-13

Celebrating excellence, pride in 5,000 degrees at CSULA Commencement

Boeing CFO, Cambridge president
to address Cal State L.A.’s Class of 2009

Los Angeles, CA – A two-day festivity filled with pride and celebrations, California State University, Los Angeles will confer more than 5,000 bachelor’s and master’s degrees at this year’s Commencement exercises June 12 and 13.

The Friday 5 p.m. ceremony will honor graduates in the Charter College of Education; College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology; and College of Health and Human Services. Its keynote speaker will be James A. Bell, corporate president, chief financial officer (CFO) and executive vice president of The Boeing Company, the world’s largest aerospace company. Bell is a 1997 accounting graduate of Cal State L.A.

The Saturday 8 a.m. ceremony will honor graduates in the College of Arts and Letters; College of Business and Economics; and College of Natural and Social Sciences. Its speaker will be Tito Guerrero, III, who became president of Cambridge College in Massachusetts on March 1, 2009.

The following are among the thousands of stories of pride and persistence amid the Class of 2009:

  • Twenty-two young graduates in the Early Entrance Program (EEP)—age 17-20—will receive baccalaureate degrees this weekend, including 17-year-old physics/math major Andrea Kulier, the youngest graduating senior this year. Kulier, who will be marching at the Saturday Commencement, has been accepted into the Princeton University astrophysical sciences Ph.D. program with paid tuition and $33,000 fellowship. Becoming a family tradition, 2009 EEP grads Roy Cheng (psychology), Margaret Lee (biology), Zeeshan Ott (social work), and Sharon Ready (electrical engineering) all had a sibling or siblings who graduated from this program, which admits extraordinarily gifted youngsters directly into college.


  • CSULA’s most “senior” student Richard YaoTang Chen, now 87, will receive a bachelor’s degree in Chinese this spring and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in the summer. He will attend the Friday Commencement.


  • Overcoming culture shock, language barriers, and loss of two parents, Soliman Wahab emigrated to the U.S. ten years ago from Afghanistan to pursue his American dream. He will be conferred a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems with an option in information technology. A recipient of a Richard Lewis Scholarship, Wahab will honor the memory of his parents as he marches at the Saturday Commencement.


  • President’s Scholars Adolfo and Amber Escobedo will celebrate their six-month wedding anniversary at the Saturday Commencement. They will be receiving his and hers degrees—Adolfo’s in mathematics and Amber’s in liberal studies. With nine others in the Class of 2009, Cal State L.A.’s President’s Scholars were awarded full scholarships for four-year study at Cal State L.A.



  • Ataklti Hagege Hailu, consul of the Consulate General of Ethiopia in Los Angeles, will be receiving his masters’ degree in public administration at the Saturday Commencement. This spring, he received a Special Recognition in Graduate Studies award.


  • Award-winning psychology M.S. student Victor Cazares has been accepted into the neuroscience doctoral program at UC San Francisco. Cazares is one of 23 students this year from Cal State L.A.’s Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) Programs who have been admitted into prestigious doctoral programs.


Both 2009 Commencement ceremonies will be streamed live on their respective dates and times. The web streams will be broadcast through Cal State L.A.’s Eagles Live Cast at /eagleslive/.

What:             The Commencement of Cal State L.A.’s 62nd graduating class will be a festive celebration.

When:             Fri., June 12, 2009,  5 p.m.

Conferring degrees to graduates in the Charter College of Education, College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology, and College of Health and Human Services

Speaker: James A. Bell, corporate president, chief financial officer (CFO) and executive vice president of The Boeing Company—and Cal State L.A. alumnus.     

Sat., June 13, 2009,  8 a.m.

Conferring degrees to graduates in the College of Arts and Letters, College of Business and Economics, and College of Natural and Social Sciences

Speaker: Tito Guerrero, III, president of Cambridge College in Massachusetts.

Where:            Cal State L.A.’s University Athletic Stadium, at the southeast corner of the campus.  The University is located at the Eastern Avenue exit, San Bernardino (I-10) freeway, at the interchange of the 10 and 710 freeways.

Info:               For more information, go to

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 205,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.