FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2000
Sharon Davis, Leon Panetta to Speak at Commencement
The first graduating class of the 21st century at California State University, Chico will be awarded bachelor’s and master’s degrees the weekend of May 19-21, 2000. Sharon Davis, First Lady of California, and Leon Panetta, former Chief of Staff to President Clinton, will be speakers at commencement exercises Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21, respectively.
An estimated 2,400 students along with family and friends will participate in the university’s 110th Commencement.
Commencement ceremonies for graduating students in the Colleges of Business, Communication and Education, Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology and Natural Sciences will begin 9 a.m. Saturday, May 20.
Commencement for graduating students in the Colleges of Agriculture, Behavioral and Social Sciences, and Humanities and Fine Arts, The Center for International Studies and Undergraduate Education: Liberal Studies/Special Majors will begin 9 a.m. Sunday, May 21.
The Saturday and Sunday ceremonies should take roughly two hours, and will be held at the University Stadium rain or shine.
Saturday’s Commencement speaker, Sharon Davis, is the official spokesperson for the Healthy Families Program, the state’s health insurance program that provides medical, dental and vision coverage for children of working families.
Davis visits schools throughout the state to encourage students to raise their expectations and performance and promote parental involvement. She is also involved in the California Mentor Initiative, a project designed to recruit one million new mentors for children in California.
Sunday’s speaker, Leon Panetta, is the current Distinguished Scholar to the Chancellor of the California State University System. As Distinguished Scholar to the Chancellor, Panetta advises the Chancellor on national issues affecting higher education.
Prior to his position as Chief of Staff, Panetta was a U.S. Representative from California from 1977 to 1993. He authored the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988, the Fair Employment Practices Resolution, legislation that established Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for hospice care for the terminally ill and other legislation on education, health and defense issues.
The ceremony to honor bachelor’s degree recipients May 20 and 21 at the University Stadium will have a new look for the millennium. Graduates will wear red satin class-of-2000 stoles with the CSU, Chico logo and will walk up on the stage from the back and face the audience as they receive their degrees.
In the past, students have walked to the stage from the front, which had them facing away from the audience. The new staging design is a result of a design project by a CSU, Chico engineering class. Nineteen students submitted designs, and the best ideas were combined into the new staging plan.
The Commencement ceremony for master’s degree recipients will take place in Laxson Auditorium on Friday, May 19, at 7 p.m. Approximately 180 students will receive degrees. The master of ceremony for this event will be Robert Jackson, the dean of the School of Graduate, International and Sponsored Programs. Patrick McCaffrey, a faculty member since 1975, will serve as the Honorary Marshal.
The master’s graduate ceremony will feature student speaker Donna Lundgren, who will be receiving her master’s degree in Speech/Language Pathology. Lundgren decided to work with the neurologically impaired after her uncle suffered a stroke. She is presently fulfilling her clinical fellowship year at Oroville Hospital.
The Chico State Ceremonial Band, under the direction of Director James Bankhead, chair of the music department, will provide instrumental music for Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are not required for admission into the stadium for Saturday or Sunday, but tickets are required for Friday night’s ceremony at Laxson, where seating is limited. People may contact the School of Graduate and International Programs at 898-6880 for information about obtaining additional tickets.