SF State swinging for another Commencement home run at AT&T Park

San Francisco State graduates in academic regalia

More than 35,000 students and guests attended last year's Commencement ceremony, held for the first time at AT&T Park. This year's event will take place on May 27.

San Francisco State University's 115th Commencement ceremony will be held on Friday, May 27 at AT&T Park. More than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students will receive their degrees at the waterfront ballpark, with more than 35,000 guests expected to attend.

Oscar-winning film producer and SF State alum Jonas Rivera (B.A., '96) will deliver the Commencement address. Claudia Corona and Richard Polote, two of 12 students who have the honor of wearing their college's academic hood at Commencement, will be the student speakers. Honorary doctorate degrees will be awarded to: Bob Linscheid, former president of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and former chair of the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees; Jeffrey Mallett, entrepreneur and one of the founding members of Yahoo; and Charlotte Mailliard Shultz, chief of protocol for the city of San Francisco.

Shultz's husband, former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, will be awarded The President's Medal, the highest honor bestowed by SF State President Les Wong. The award acknowledges those who have made long-lasting, widespread contributions to the University and their community. Past medal awardees include Senator Dianne Feinstein and former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. (B.A., '55).

SF State's 2015 Commencement at AT&T Park

AT&T Park will once again host SF State's Commencement in 2016.

AT&T Park will open to guests at 3 p.m., the procession of students will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the ceremony will start at 6:30 p.m. and is expected to last 2-3 hours. A fireworks display will conclude the event.

Additional information about Commencement is available at commencement.sfsu.edu. Live updates and photos from the ceremony will be posted to the University's Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. Graduates and guests can tag their Commencement posts on social media using the hashtag #SFSU2016.

This year, a new Commencement app will keep graduates and guests plugged in to the latest news and events leading up to Commencement. Visit www.eventmobi.com/sfsucommencement2016 to view and download the app.

Commencement speaker

Jonas Rivera

Oscar-winning film producer and SF State alum (B.A., '96) Jonas Rivera joined Pixar Animation Studios as a production office intern in 1994 to work on the company’s first feature film, "Toy Story", and has since worked on almost every Pixar feature film to date. In February 2016, he won his first Academy Award as the producer of Disney/Pixar’s "Inside Out" in the Best Animated Feature Film category.

Rivera also served as production manager on Pixar’s Golden Globe-winning animated feature, "Cars." His first credit as producer was on Disney/Pixar’s 2009 animated feature film "Up", for which he earned Producer of the Year in Animated Features by the Producers Guild of America and a nomination for Best Picture at the Academy Awards
in 2010.

Student speakers

Undergraduate: Richard Leonard Polote, College of Ethnic Studies

Richard Polote is a decorated U.S. Air Force veteran who will receive his bachelor's degree in Africana studies. At SF State, he found a passion for community service and has served as a mentor to incarcerated youth through San Francisco's Youth Justice Institute, where he's been recognized as Mentor of the Year. He also volunteers at the Afrikatown Community Garden at Qilombo Community Center in Oakland, in addition to serving as a Boys & Girls Club youth development coordinator. Polote plans to pursue a master's degree in Africana studies and journalism and is currently working on a documentary film about the lynching of African American men in the Southern U.S. since 2000.

Graduate: Claudia Corona, College of Science and Engineering

Claudia Corona became the first in her family to earn a college degree as an undergrad at Williams College in Massachusetts, and will next receive her SF State master's degree in geosciences. At SF State, she worked on a project that was the first to demonstrate a relationship between climate variability and groundwater. Outside the classroom, she volunteers with SF State's Sol Patch Garden, plays on the women's rugby team and volunteers with organizations that bring science into elementary school classrooms. After graduation, she will continue her SF State-based research before beginning doctoral studies, with a goal of becoming a water resource expert who can help California battle the drought and the impact of climate change on groundwater resources.

President's Medal recipient

George Shultz

A published author, professor, renowned political economist and dynamic political leader, George Shultz remains widely recognized as a significant figure in American foreign and economic policy. He served as Secretary of Labor, Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Secretary of the Treasury under President Richard Nixon, and Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan. Under President Reagan, Shultz was directly involved in U.S. diplomatic relations around the world, including the conclusion of the Cold War. He also served as a senior staff economist on President Dwight Eisenhower's Council of Economic Advisers. His academic career includes appointments as the dean of the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago from 1962-1969 and his current position as the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. In recognition of his contributions to the security and national interests of the United States, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1989.

Honorary doctorate degree recipients

Bob Linscheid

Bob Linscheid has served California businesses and communities for more than two decades, providing leadership on critical economic issues to public, private and nonprofit organizations. A CSU graduate, he received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in public administration from California State University, Chico. From 2005 to 2014 he served as a member of the CSU Board of Trustees, including as vice chair from 2010-2012 and chair from 2012 to 2014. He has also been recognized for his leadership in the business community, serving as president and chief executive officer of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce from 2013-2016 and as president and chief executive officer of The Linscheid Company since 1993. A strong believer in the community importance of athletics, Linscheid has served in leadership roles with the Chico Heat and Chico Outlaws baseball teams and the Western Baseball League. His many awards and honors include the CSU Chico College of Business Person of the Year and the Western Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives' Executive of the Year.

Jeffrey Mallett

A Canadian-born entrepreneur and investor, Jeffrey Mallett is most widely known as the president and chief operating officer at Yahoo Inc., where he helped propel the company into an internet giant. He was an early employee of Reference Software International, a company started by then-SF State professor Don Emery. The company, which developed grammar-checking software, was purchased by WordPerfect Corporation, where Mallett became head of the global consumer division. In 1995, Mallett was appointed by Yahoo! Inc. founder Jerry Yang as the president and COO of the company when it was a small start-up with 11 employees. Mallett has always had a deep love for sports, particularly soccer, which he played while attending SF State from 1987-88. Today he is a principal owner and executive committee member of Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants, a role that includes ownership and management of the award-winning AT&T Park.

Charlotte Mailliard Shultz

Charlotte Mailliard Shultz served as chief of protocol in the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Protocol for seven consecutive mayoral administrations, a role to which she was reappointed by Mayor Willie Brown in 1995 and continues to hold to this day. Commended as the "city's premier party giver" by the San Francisco Chronicle, she brought back the city’s Black and White Ball, organized the 50th anniversary celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge, and has welcomed distinguished visitors such as Pope John Paul II and members of the British royal family. In 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger appointed her as chief of protocol for the State of California. Shultz also serves as the president of the San Francisco War Memorial Board of Trustees and is active on the boards of the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Ballet and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the State of California Woman of the Year Award in 1996 and 2000. In 2007, Queen Elizabeth II bestowed upon Shultz the title of commander of the Royal Victorian Order for her long record of service in assisting royal visitors.

Additional Commencement information