Nearly 5,000 UCSB students have reached the end of their undergraduate college careers and, over the next two weeks, will walk the stage in their respective graduation ceremonies.
The College of Creative Studies will kick off the first day of ceremonies Sunday at 11 a.m. in Campbell Hall and the Bren School commencement will hold the second round of services on June 11 in the Bren Hall courtyard. The six remaining ceremonies will be held over the course of two days in various locations on campus with the final graduation scheduled for June 13.
The ceremonies will be organized according to college, degree and field of study and each student will receive a congratulatory handshake from Chancellor Henry T. Yang.
Although UC Berkeley African American Studies professor Ula Taylor cancelled her appointment to speak at commencement in light of the UC-wide worker union boycott, award-winning journalist and UCSB guest lecturer Ann Louise Bardach and former CEO of the Massachusetts-based Raytheon Company Daniel Burnham are still scheduled to deliver the keynote speeches.
“There were some changes in the line up,” Paul Desruisseaux, associate vice chancellor of internal public affairs, said. “Some of our scheduled speakers — out of their own personal views and convictions — decided not to speak in solidarity with labor organization concerns. However, most of the people who are speaking are members of our distinguished faculty and we anticipate a great set of ceremonies.”
Desruisseaux said the event celebrates the scholastic accomplishments of graduates.
“It’s the culmination of an important phase in their education,” he said. “It is a big day for the students and their friends and family to celebrate their academic achievement.”
In addition to academic achievement, fourth-year global studies major Blake Criswell said the commencement ceremonies also celebrate friendships and bonds students have made during their time at UCSB.
“I liked my time spent in the classroom,” Criswell said. “But what I enjoyed even more was the time I spent with friends doing things far from academic. To me, graduation is just as much the celebration of the memories we made as it is the celebration of receiving a degree.”
According to Desruisseaux, an estimated 40,000 visitors come to campus every spring for the ceremonies, which impacts businesses and individuals outside the UCSB community.
“This particular stretch of events brings the largest number of visitors to the Santa Barbara area, after Fiesta,” Desruisseaux said. “It’s a big deal for the community as well.”