Largest graduating class in CSUSM history prepares for commencement


Cory Kay and Katlin Sweeney

In five commencement ceremonies spanning two days, more than 3,000 graduates will receive their degrees while simultaneously becoming the largest graduating class in CSUSM history.

Between Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21, undergraduate and graduate students from the four academic colleges will participate in the 25th annual commencement. This year’s class will increase the total number of CSUSM alumni to more than 37,000. According to a newsletter released on Tuesday, May 3 by campus Communications Specialist Whitney Frasier, 55 percent of the graduating class are first generation students who are the first in their family to earn a four-year college degree. 35 percent of these students also identify as underrepresented minorities.

“It makes me really proud to be a first generation college student,” said Communications major and The Cougar Chronicle Managing Editor Jasmine Demers.  “I was able to persevere through a lot of hardship in order to make it this far. My dad wasn’t able to make it through college and had a really difficult life, but through his mistakes, I learned the importance of education. I am determined to make a life for myself where I can be happy and secure, and also be able to provide for my family in the way that they deserve.”

Leading up to commencement, various departments and organizations have hosted graduate recognition ceremonies in the past month, including Student Health & Counseling Services, ASI Gender Equity Center and LGBTQA Pride Center, Early Outreach Program and Greek Life.

There are three commencement ceremonies scheduled for Friday, May 20. The day begins with the College of Business Administration at 9 a.m., followed by College of Science and Mathematics at 1 p.m. and College of Education, Health and Human Services at 4:30 p.m. The College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral, and Social Sciences will have two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 21 at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. All commencement ceremonies will take place at the Mangrum Track and Field.
Friends, family and community members who are unable to attend commencement can participate in the festivities by watching the ceremonies online at and keep up with graduation posts on social media with the hashtag #csusm16.