UC Santa Barbara’s annual commencement weekend attracted over 40,000 visitors to campus in mid-June for a celebration of the achievements of this year’s graduating class of 2010.
The commencement weekend consisted of eight ceremonies held on the Commencement Green behind the Faculty Club between June 6 and 13 that recognized each of the 4,985 graduating students. The ceremonies featured speeches from campus authorities and a total of nine student speakers. The bulk of graduates participated in six ceremonies over Saturday and Sunday.
“The weekend came off without a hitch,” Associate Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs Paul Desruisseaux, said. “Four of the six ceremonies had close to 1,000 students graduating or walking through the ceremony each and the other two had about 500, for graduate school and the college of engineering.”
Audiences heard speeches from campus figures such as Anne Louise Bardach, a journalist and author within the Humanities and Fine Arts Dept., and Daniel P. Burnham, chair of the Engineering and Science Dept., and retired chairman and chief executive officer of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation.
Consistent with past years, Chancellor Henry T. Yang shook the hand of each student who graduated from the College of Creative Studies, the College of Engineering, the College of Letters and Science, the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, and the Graduate Division.
According to Director of Public Events Gretchen Falvo, the event did not encounter any difficulties, despite record attendance.
“We had more numbers that we’ve ever had and it was perfect weather — no ambulance situations, no heat stroke,” Falvo said. “The weather was so perfect, everyone was a happy camper.”
Primarily, Falvo said, the annual event allows both students and their families a unique chance to reflect on the achievements of the graduates with their peers and peers’ families.
“It’s very important. It’s one of those things that you can’t go back and do over again,” Falvo said. “[The graduates] realize how important it is to their families who have supported [them] the whole way through to participate in the ceremony.”