FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – On Thursday Fresno State President Joseph Castro sent an email out to students saying they will be getting rid of the main commencement graduation.
Colin Stewart is the Associate Dean of Student Involvement at Fresno State.
He said they are no longer having the large commencement because students aren’t attending. They are going to their individual department graduations instead.
“So, only main commencement was sunset,” said Stewart. “The reason why over the past years the numbers have been trending down.”
Stewart said last academic year there were 6,000 graduates and only 700 attended the main commencement.
“Most universities when they first start have one ceremony and as they grow their needs start to shift and change,” said Stewart.
Fresno State has grown over the years and has more than 25,000 students.
Stewart said coming to this decision was not easy. They spoke to numerous faculty, staff, and students. Along with looking at other large state universities.
Fresno State will be the second to last CSU to get away with the one large commencement graduation and instead focus more on individual departments.
“The confirming of the degree will happen at all of the individual college ceremonies and so the things that made the main commencement so special and unique will be transferred to the individual college ceremony,” said Stewart.
Students at Fresno State had mixed feelings about the announcement.
Alexis Puga is in her first year at Fresno State. She said it doesn’t really affect new students but the older ones closer to graduation.
“The juniors or seniors or whatever you want to call it those will be impacted more rather than incoming people,” said Alexis. “We don’t know much about it unless they have been there.”
But, Felipe Alvarado-Ramos is one year from graduating. When he heard of the news he was in disbelief.
“I think it takes away a lot of things for people like me who are first-generation college where a lot of people have probably seen it on TV,” said Felipe. “It’s this huge thing and it kind of takes it away,”
Fresno State will continue all special graduations and infinity based celebrations like the African-American, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and Chicano Latino commencement celebrations.