USD Holds Graduation Ceremonies Over Weekend of May 22-23

Some 2,200 new University of San Diego graduates in law, business, nursing, education, peace studies and other fields will receive their degrees in ceremonies this month. The School of Law will graduate 400 students on May 15. Some 1,800 students will graduate in three other ceremonies on May 22 and 23 in the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Hundreds of graduates are San Diego residents whose family and friends will join them for the celebration.  Many are the first in their families to earn a college degree. USD graduates will be the first in California to wear eco-friendly gowns made of recycled water bottles. Instead of going into a landfill, more than 50,000 bottles, about 23 per gown, were used to make the gowns by Oak Hall Cap & Gown. 

A full schedule and ideas for graduation features and interviews follows:

USD Graduate Commencement
(College of Arts and Sciences, Schools of Business Administration, Education, Nursing and Peace Studies)
Saturday, May 22
1 p.m., Jenny Craig Pavilion
650 master’s and doctoral degrees

Speaker: Cindy Basso Eaton is president of Global Healing, an international humanitarian aid organization, which creates self-sufficient medical programs in developing countries. She has served in this role since 2000. She is also a USD graduate and member of its board of trustees.

Possible grad interviews: Ghulam Ishaq Hassan will receive his master’s degree in peace and justice studies. He hopes to work for human rights with a focus on women’s rights in his native Afghanistan. Amy Carney, who will receive her PhD in nursing, has done cutting-edge work on Elder Abuse in a study accumulated from legal cases in San Diego. MBA grad Michael Curtin will work for NASA as a budget analyst through the Presidential Management Fellows Program. Out of 8,500 applicants who took the initial exam, he was one of 700 chosen for the final rounds.

USD College of Arts and Sciences Graduation
Sunday, May 23
9 a.m., Jenny Craig Pavilion
675 bachelor’s degrees

Speaker: Ambassador Gaddi H. Vasquez is the 8th United States Representative to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organizations. A former  Peace Corps director, he is the son of migrant farm workers and is the first in his family to earn a college degree.  Valedictorian Holly Lillis has a 4.0 grade point average and earned a bachelor’s degree in English. Already the author of two books, she plans to pursue a master’s degree and a career in criminal and global justice.

Other Possible Grad Interviews: Fifty-four-year-old Dan Wehrman had to leave school early in 1978  because of financial and work issues. He wasn’t able to  finish his degree as planned but 32 years later, the Oregon firefighter and business owner has completed the work for his bachelor’s in political science and plans to walk in the ceremony with his wife and two daughters proudly looking on.

Naval ROTC graduate Kim Roe, who earned her degree in mathematics, will be one of the first women assigned to a submarine, following the recent decision by the Navy to lift the ban on women serving in submarines. Michael Sass, the top NROTC student in the country, (see below) will graduate in the afternoon ceremony.  A total of 26 new  Marine and Navy officers  will receive their degrees during the two ceremonies.

Forty-five students, most of whom are the first in their family to graduate, will do so through two of USD’s federal TRiO programs for first-generation and/or income eligible college students. Camron Proctor is receiving his bachelor’s degree and has been awarded a full scholarship for a PhD program in physics at UC Davis through his participation in the TRiO McNair Scholars program that provides research and other opportunities to prepare students for acceptance into graduate school. Ana Barrios, who has been selected for the highly competitive Teach for America program, is also a USD TRiO McNair Scholars graduate.

Ben Logan is graduating in three years with a 3.9 grade point average through the TRiO Student Support Services programs that provides extensive mentoring and support for first-generation college students from underserved communities.

At least 20 USD students have chosen to enter service careers in the Peace Corps, Teach for American and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Biochemistry graduate Jennifer Wooley will be spending the summer on a health-related internship in Alaska and then will go to Sub-Saharan Africa to teach science with the Peace Corps.

USD School of Business Administration and Engineering Programs
Sunday, May 23
2 p.m., Jenny Craig Pavilion
500 bachelor’s degrees

Speaker: Richard K. Davis is chairman, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Bancorp, a financial holding company with more than $281 billion in total assets and business across the United States, Canada and Europe. He also serves on the USD Board of Trustees. Valedictorian Katy Ness has a 4.0 grade point average and earned her bachelor’s degree in accountancy. She will begin a master’s program in accountancy at USD this summer and has already been offered a job at PriceWaterhouseCoopers upon completion.

Midshipman Michael Sass, who is earning his degree in electrical engineering, has been recognized as the top Navy ROTC student in the country. Sass will receive the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Foundation’s Commissioning Award, established in 1991 to recognize the ROTC graduate in each service selected for his or her distinguished academic achievement. Sass also is one of a few midshipmen selected to work at the Naval Reactors Headquarters in Washington, D.C., immediately following graduation.

Erica Corrado, who earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and a minor in environmental studies, has been chosen for Target Corp.’s management program and is excited to begin working after graduation.






About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.