Cal State LA Commencement 2018 closes with triumphant finale

May 25, 2018

By Jillian Beck | Cal State LA News Service

Commencement 2018 came to a triumphant end Friday when graduating students walked across the stage during two ceremonies at California State University, Los Angeles.

The ceremonies for the College of Arts and Letters featured rousing keynote addresses by two student speakers. In the morning, Lane Marie Schwager, who earned a Master of Arts in Communication Studies, urged fellow students to believe in themselves and strive for success in their futures. During the afternoon ceremony, Kimberly Antoinette Roberson, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts and Dance, encouraged the graduating students to know their potential and relentlessly follow their dreams.

Students in the Class of 2018 became the newest members of the Cal State LA alumni community. A majority of the university’s more than 245,000 alumni live in the Los Angeles region, enriching their communities and contributing to the vitality of the local economy.

President William A. Covino noted that Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. He reminded the graduating students that their experiences at Cal State LA have prepared them to succeed in life.

“Today you stand on the peak of a great mountain, looking at the world and your future. You see other mountains around you; they represent other goals and challenges,” Covino said.

President Covino speaks to graduates“Along with all that you will remember from your years at Cal State LA, I ask that you remember this advice: Don’t be daunted by the heights of your dreams and challenges,” he added. “During your time here, you’ve learned how to reach the top.”

Nearly 6,000 students graduated during 14 ceremonies that spanned five days. About 40,000 guests visited the university for the events. Keynote speakers included Ana Ponce, CEO of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy; Cástulo de la Rocha, president and CEO of AltaMed Health Services Corporation; and Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. Kwoh also received an honorary Doctor of Laws.

As the weeklong festivities drew to a close, President Covino told the graduates that their Cal State LA education and values will stay with them long after they leave the university.

“Always remember,” he said, looking out to rows of hopeful students in caps and gowns. “You are a Golden Eagle and you will soar! Congratulations Class of 2018!”

Photos: Above, A graduating student in the College of Arts and Letters celebrates after walking across the Commencement stage. Bottom right, President William A. Covino speaks to hundreds of graduating students seated in rows inside the University Gymnasium during a Commencement ceremony. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores and Anibal Ortiz/Cal State LA)

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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 28,000 students and has more than 245,000 distinguished alumni.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit