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Trustee Adam Day urges students to lead our nation to a promising future

May 21, 2017

By Cal State LA News Service

California State University Trustee Adam Day told students in the Class of 2017 that they have persisted despite challenges and difficulties and will help lead our nation to a promising future.

Day, vice chair of the Board of Trustees, delivered an inspiring address during the California State University, Los Angeles Commencement ceremony on Sunday morning for the Rongxiang Xu College of Health and Human Services.

“Your success in getting here today demonstrates not just that you are worthy of the degree, but you are capable of carrying the mantle of leadership and responsibility to tackle those challenges,” Day told the hundreds of students who filled the rows of seats at the May 21 ceremony at University Stadium.

 “And I for one am confident that with your CSU degree under your belt, you are best positioned to lead us,” Day added. He attended a second ceremony for the college in the afternoon and also spoke.

President William A. Covino noted that students from the college are dedicated to helping others, just like the late Dr. Rongxiang Xu, for whom the college is named. “Compassion is a guiding force in their lives,” the president said. “Their compassion crosses borders and recognizes the universal needs of all of humanity.”

Family and friends of Dr. Xu participated in the college’s second Commencement ceremony.Kevin Xu and Dr. Li Li

The son of Dr. Rongxiang Xu, Kevin Xu, and his mother, Dr. Li Li, marched in the ceremony with the Official Platform Party. Both are recipients of the Cal State LA Presidential Medallion, the University's highest honor. The medallion is bestowed upon individuals who have displayed outstanding leadership and extraordinary service to the students and faculty of Cal State LA.

In the final ceremony on Sunday, student Monica Lynn Roldan delivered a moving address to her classmates in the College of Arts and Letters. She said her family came to the United States from Guatemala in search of a better life. Her family’s story is not unlike that of many Cal State LA students, Roldan said. She noted that the sacrifices made by family members have allowed students to receive a university education.

“Cal State LA taught me that our differences are what make us powerful. We must use our differences to cultivate a world that is safe for everyone, even when our country’s political system may prove otherwise,” said Roldan, who received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

She said recent political developments have made it difficult to see light at the end of the tunnel. “But I have faith in knowing that we are among a generation of individuals who invoke passion against bigotry, who do not flinch when faced with sexism, racism, misogyny and homophobia.”

Monica Roldan

Photos: Top, Trustee Adam Day. Right, Kevin Xu, and his mother, Dr. Li Li on the Commencement platform.Bottom: Student speaker Monica Lynn Roldan (Cal State LA)


Cal State LA is ranked number one in the nation based on the upward mobility of its students. Founded in 1947, Cal State LA is the premier public comprehensive university in the heart of Los Angeles and is dedicated to the mission of engagement, service, and the public good. The University serves more than 27,000 students and more than 247,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the region we serve. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.

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