SF State's 114th Commencement set for May 22

San Francisco State University's 114th Commencement ceremony will be held on Friday, May 22. More than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students will receive their degrees at AT&T Park, where the event is being held for the first time, with 30,000 guests expected to attend.

A photo of SF State graduates in academic regalia.

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. A fireworks display will conclude the event.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, former mayor of San Francisco, will deliver the Commencement address. Eduardo Gonzalez and Jonathan Brumfield, two of 12 students who have the honor of wearing their college's academic hood at Commencement, will be the student speakers. Honorary degrees will be awarded to actress and SF State alum Annette Bening, poet and founder of City Lights Bookstore Lawrence Ferlinghetti and lawyer and educator Peter Gabel.

Additional information about Commencement is available at http://commencement.sfsu.edu Live updates and photos from the ceremony will be posted to the University's Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest accounts. Graduates and guests can tag their Commencement posts on social media using the hashtag #SFSU2015.


Commencement speaker

Gavin Newsom

As lieutenant governor of California, Gavin Newsom serves as the president of the California State Senate and is a University of California regent and trustee for the California State University system, among other duties. Newsom was elected to the office in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.

The youngest person to be elected mayor of San Francisco in a century, Newsom made headlines 36 days into his first term in 2004 by allowing same-sex couples to marry, in violation of state law. Prior to becoming mayor, Newsom served as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 1997 to 2004.


Student speakers

Undergraduate: Eduardo Gonzalez, Political Science and International Relations (College of Liberal & Creative Arts)

The son of Mexican immigrants, Eduardo Gonzalez grew up in a low-income household in the San Fernando Valley and is the first in his family to attend college. While at SF State, he lived in San Jose, Costa Rica, for a summer while volunteering at an orphanage and studied abroad in Istanbul, Turkey, for a year.

Gonzalez will graduate with a dual degree in political science and international relations, with a minor in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies. After graduation, Gonzalez will teach English in Turkey on a Fulbright scholarship.

Graduate: Jonathan Brumfield, Ethnic Studies

Jonathan Brumfield leads the arts program at Safe Passages, an Oakland nonprofit with the goal of inspiring young people and ending the cycle of poverty. He teaches the history of hip hop and aerosol art, using these topics as a tool to connect students to their heritage and personal identities. Brumfield's thesis explored aerosol art and its culture, making links to historic Africana aesthetics. He has been invited to speak and teach aerosol art practice overseas, including a recent trip to Senegal where he taught art to youth for several weeks.


Honorary degree recipients

Annette Bening

Actress and SF State alum (B.A., '80) Annette Bening has received critical acclaim for her stage and film work, including roles in "Bugsy," "American Beauty" and "The Kids Are All Right." Bening has been nominated for four Academy Awards and has won two Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She will receive the honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

A poet, painter, essayist, editor and publisher, Lawrence Ferlinghetti is one of the founders of San Francisco's renowned City Lights Bookstore and publishing house. Ferlinghetti's poetry collection "A Coney Island of the Mind" has been translated into nine foreign languages, with more than one million copies in print. He will receive the honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

Peter Gabel

Peter Gabel was a law professor at the New College of California for 30 years and the college's president for 20. A lawyer, scholar, educator, activist and author, Gabel helped develop the critical legal studies movement, which challenges the biases, assumptions and class conflicts at the heart of traditional legal institutions. He will receive the honorary Doctor of Laws degree.


Additional Commencement information

- Learn what to expect at this year's Commencement by watching this FAQ video, which has information about parking and stadium rules: https://youtu.be/ZFlGzZg8nOM

- Read a Commencement message from President Les Wong: http://commencement.sfsu.edu/content/president-wongs-message-graduate-students

- Get details about what to expect at AT&T Park: http://commencement.sfsu.edu/content/att-park-information

- Understand the guest ticket policy: http://commencement.sfsu.edu/content/guest-ticket-policy

- Find ideas for SF State-themed gifts for your graduating Gator: http://news.sfsu.edu/gift-your-gator-graduate


-- University Communications