CALEXICO – Family members and friends cheered as San Diego State University – Imperial Valley graduates walked in celebration of the 57th Commencement ceremony Thursday May 11 on the Rollie Carrillo Quad. Clutching their degrees, the 408 SDSU – IV alumni reveled in the moment signifying the ending of their university journey.
Dr. Gregorio Ponce, dean of SDSU -IV, introduced commencement speaker Maria J. Ambriz, superintendent of the Calexico Unified School District, a Calexico High School graduate and an SDSU -IV alumna. Ambriz told the enthusiastic graduates that success needs to be accomplished with preparation and determination as they begin a new phase in their lives.
“I remind and encourage to do the following: live a life of preparation, define your own success, take action, be value driven, and remember to be,” Ambriz advised the students in her speech. “Continue to live your life in preparation for tomorrow as each day requires planning.”
“Be thoughtful and compassionate, so we all find internal and external peace to coexist. We may encounter people every day who may not share our philosophies, they may not share our values, and they may not even have the same drive that we do to get things done. However, we’re all here on God’s beautiful world to live, to exist and to be,” said Ambriz.
The audience congratulated the students with yells, claps and horns as 345 graduated with bachelor’s degrees, 25 graduated with master’s degrees in social work, and 38 received credentials.
From the graduating class of 2017, Giovanna Karina Villa was awarded the academic excellence award, Hector Manuel Teran Jr. was given the outstanding graduate award and Briana Elisa Barajas received an award for outstanding graduate in the social work master’s program.
Teran, Jr. and Barajas in turn, presented university instructors Bret Kofford and Barbara Ryan awards as most influential faculty and most influential faculty in the social work program.
In conclusion, SDSU President Elliot Hirshman congratulated the graduates with affection and reminded them to stay involved in the school’s activities and continue to learn as they use their education in the world. With a joyful ovation, the graduates walked with pride to meet friends and family as they left the campus to celebrate the beginning of their careers.