Pioneering journalist, UCSF researcher to give SF State Commencement keynotes

More than 7,400 undergraduate and graduate students to receive degrees on May 23 and 24


SAN FRANCISCO, April 15, 2014 -- Longtime journalist Belva Davis and University of California, San Francisco researcher Rong Wang will deliver keynote addresses during San Francisco State University's undergraduate and graduate Commencement ceremonies on May 23 and 24.

More than 1,400 graduate students will receive their degrees during the graduate Commencement ceremony May 23. The undergraduate Commencement ceremony will take place the following day, with more than 6,000 students receiving their degrees.

Davis will speak at the undergraduate ceremony, and Wang will speak at the graduate ceremony.

A pair of computing pioneers and SF State alumni -- David Walden '64, whose contributions helped lead to the creation of the Internet, and co-inventor of the microprocessor Stanley Mazor (attended '60-'65) -- will receive honorary doctorates from the California State University during the undergraduate ceremony.

A photo of Belva DavisBelva Davis helped change the face and focus of TV news when she was hired as the first black woman television news reporter in the West. In a career that has spanned five decades, she has reported on some of the most important events of her era. Stories she covered included the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and anti-war protests, the birth of the Black Panther Party, the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, the Jonestown massacre, the onset of the AIDS epidemic and the 1998 bombing of the U.S embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. She has won eight local Emmys as well as lifetime achievement awards from the International Women's Media Foundation and the National Association of Black Journalists. In 2013, she was selected by the Radio Television Digital News Association as winner of the John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press.

A photo of Rong WangA native of China who immigrated to the U.S. for doctoral studies, Rong Wang is an associate professor and the Mildred V. Strouss Endowed Chair in Vascular Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. Her state-of-the-art research investigating the key molecular regulators necessary for blood vessel formation and function has resulted in groundbreaking discoveries that could lead to improved wound healing and tissue regeneration and better prevention and treatment of diseases affected by abnormal blood vessels such as stroke, heart attack, peripheral arterial occlusion and cancer.

A photo of David WaldenDavid Walden graduated from SF State with a degree in mathematics in 1964. While working at Boston-based Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc. (BBN), he was a member of the original, seven-person team selected to develop ARPANET, the precursor to the modern Internet. During his career, Walden has been involved in a number of Internet innovations as well as the nonprofit Center for Quality of Management, a collection of companies dedicated to sharing best practices in business.

A photo of Stanley MazorA classmate of Walden's, Stanley Mazor attended SF State as a mathematics major from 1960-1965, during which time he learned to program the University's only computer. He left SF State to become a computer programmer and eventually joined Intel, where in 1969 he and his colleagues designed and built the first microprocessor (computer chip). Following his time at Intel, he began teaching, including at Stanford and Santa Clara universities. In 2010, President Barack Obama invited Mazor and two of his Intel colleagues to the White House to receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. He was previously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Walden and Mazor were inducted into the SF State Alumni Hall of Fame in 1998.

To learn more about SF State's 113th Commencement exercises, visit


SF State is the only master's-level public university serving the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. The University enrolls nearly 30,000 students each year and offers nationally acclaimed programs in a range of fields -- from creative writing, cinema and biology to history, broadcast and electronic communication arts, theatre arts and ethnic studies. The University’s more than 219,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond.