BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Thousands of friends and family packed the bleachers and field at California State University, Bakersfield Wednesday evening for its annual Graduate Hooding Ceremony.
“It's super exciting here tonight," said CSUB President Lynnette Zelezny. "This is a large graduating class and our inaugural class of doctoral students from CSUB . I can't tell you how proud I am of our graduates and all of the services they will provide for our region."
This year's Hooding Ceremony is the largest in CSUB history with 335 students, including twelve of the first-ever doctoral graduates.
“I feel honored, blessed and really humbled," said graduate student, Edward Gonzalez. "The fact that I get to be a part of the first doctoral group to be graduating is just a complete honor.”
The first cohort of educational leadership students were welcomed to campus three years ago. But, like many graduates Wednesday evening, they thank all of their family and friends for getting where they are today.
"To be able to get here, honestly it wasn’t just me," said Gonzalez. "It was my wife, my mom, dad, kids, colleagues. It took a village to push me here, to really support my goals and dreams ultimately."
"Oh my gosh," laughed master's student, Hilda Maya. "Sleepless nights, typing papers, reading papers, research, and I just couldn’t have made it without my family."
“It says that we are really being recognized for the amazing faculty that we have here at CSUB and the fantastic academic programs," said Zelezny. "But, as graduate students are increasingly coming to CSUB, it also says a great deal about the graduate education that we are providing to the region.”