HomeNewsCentral Valley NewsUC Merced Honors Graduates with Historic In-person Commencement

UC Merced Honors Graduates with Historic In-person Commencement

By Desiree López, UC Merced

A wave of blue and gold covered the recreation fields at UC Merced as more than 2,400 students walked the stage during the first in-person spring commencement in three years.  

The three-day ceremony weekend started by welcoming back 1,000 alumni from the classes of 2020 and 2021 — who were previously honored with a virtual ceremony because of COVID-19.  

On Saturday and Sunday, another 1,460 graduates from the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (SSHA) and the schools of Engineering and Natural Sciences had the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments in front of their families and friends as they were bestowed their degrees, including doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s.  

The ceremonies featured keynote speakers Fred Ruiz, chairman emeritus of the UC Board of Regents and co-founder of Ruiz Foods, and immediate past UC Regents Chair Cecilia Estolano, the CEO and founder of Estolano Advisors.  

Student speakers Cathryn Flores, who majored in English and minored in writing, and Maya Morris, who majored in chemical sciences with a chemistry emphasis, both shared messages of unity and perseverance as they stood center stage congratulating their classmates on their successes after navigating life and remote learning during the pandemic.  

“UC Merced students have the opportunity to create their own legacies for the next generations of college students. We’re innovators, artists, scientists, social scientists and the ambitious leaders of tomorrow,” Flores said.  

“This is a place where anyone, from any background, can go and feel welcomed and accepted. The atmosphere here is one of diversity, equity and inclusion. Instead of competing, people here lift each other up,” Morris said.  

A pre-recording of the spring commencement ceremonies can be seen here.

Felicia Roberts took an idea gathered a few people to reached into a minority community to highlight the positive, using a minority newspaper the Central Valley Voice. Roberts was joined by her sisters Carolyn Williams, Alleashia Thomas, niece Hermonie Lynn Williams, nephew Ron Williams, cousin Jerald Lester, Jay Slaffey, Greg Savage, Tim Daniels and the late J Denise Fontaine. Each individual played an important role in the birth of the newspapers. Since, then many have stood strong behind the success of the newspapers and its goal to fill a void in the Central Valley community. The Central Valley Voice published their 1st issue in November 1991. Its purposed was to highlight the achievements of minorities in the Central Valley. The Voice focuses on the accomplishments of African Americans and Hispanics giving young people role models while diminishing the stereotypical pictures of gangs, crime and violence that permeate the minority communities. Since 1991, the Central Valley Voice has provided an important voice for the minority community throughout the Madera, Merced. Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.

Leave a Reply

- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular

Recent Comments

%d bloggers like this: