Education Matters: Graduates finally celebrate their success


FRESNO, California (KSEE) – CSU Chancellor Joseph Castro, returned to the Central Valley this weekend to take care of what he called unfinished business with some Fresno State graduates.

Castro was previously president of Fresno State – before taking on the role of chancellor.

Graduation ceremonies held at Bulldog Stadium gave both sides the opportunity to finish what they started together. Families arriving there were the first time in more than a year to be allowed to gather this was a special day graduation day for the classes of 2020 and 2021.

“We are one of the few colleges and universities in the country that is allowing families to participate – and that’s a huge significant milestone and so we are thrilled,” said Associate Dean Fresno State Colin Stewart.

The ceremonies were held over a three-day period for the combined classes of approximately 12,000 graduates.

“I feel very excited and again really emotional. I didn’t think we’d get to do this so I’m glad that she is going to get to have this memory,” said parent Monica Dominguez.

The Dominguez family was excited to share the day with their daughter Shaianne, who graduated in 2020. She is now in law school.

“To see her work so hard for it and the chance there was the possibility she wouldn’t get to do it. It broke her heart so I’m really happy for her.”

This particular graduation ceremony was for those earning degrees in the social sciences. While each graduate had their own story to tell, they all shared one thing attending college during a pandemic.

“I still persevered,” said graduate Shaianne Dominguez. “I didn’t let it stop me and I continued forward on my career path and I’m glad we were able to have this moment today.”

Chancellor Joseph Castro, who came back to Fresno to be part of this ceremony, said that’s what made these students special. They faced many challenges yet did not give up; they were resilient and he wanted to honor them.

“So this was an opportunity to be able to have some closure with the classes of 2020 and 2021, and I was honored to be able to do that,” said CSU Chancellor Joseph Castro.

Castro attended all six ceremonies, conferring degrees on all the graduates

Families were not allowed to meet up with their graduates inside the stadium, but the graduates were grateful for this memory.

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