Monday, May 18, 2015
HSU Walks: A photo Essay by Mark Larson
By Mark Larson
on Mon, May 18, 2015 at 7:45 AM
The students wore standard academic regalia but many showed creativity with personal inscriptions on their mortarboard hats or wore flower leis and folded-money garlands around their necks. Many also wore cloth stoles around their shoulders specific to their academic disciplines or cultures.
HSU President Lisa Rossbacher led her first commencement, keeping it shorter than in the past by not having any guest speakers and giving a brief welcome and presidential message to the audience. The most moving portion of her presentation came when she asked the students to stand to show an affirmative response to her questions: How many of you signed the HSU pledge of social and environmental responsibility? How many of you received some form of financial aid while going to school? How many of you worked part-time while going to school? How many of you worked full-time while going to school? How many of you are the first in your family to graduate from college?
It was a surprising, insightful and emotional experience for me to see what looked like a majority of the graduates stand after each question.
The traditional tossing of hats followed the long roll call of names of those moving forward to receive degress. The new graduates then filed out looking for familiar faces of family and friends, accompanied by the HSU centennial-themed recessional music composed by music professor Gil Cline.
The real world awaits their arrival.
Under a cool, overcast morning sky, the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences held the first of three Commencement 2015 ceremonies at Humboldt State University on Saturday, May 16. The undergraduate and graduate students receiving their degree walked out onto the vivid green artificial turf of Redwood Bowl, with friends and family clutching flowers and balloons, watching and waiting patiently through the two-hour ceremony.