USD Changemakers to Graduate During Four Ceremonies Beginning this Weekend

Veterans and other grads hired by Cymer Inc., Deloitte LLP, IBM and other firms
20 first-generation college graduates and McNair Scholars to enter master’s and PhD programs
30 graduates chosen for Teach for America, Peace Corps and Jesuit Volunteer Corps
16 newly commissioned Navy and Marine officers earn degrees

Some 2,100 new University of San Diego Changemakers, graduates in business, education, law, liberal arts, nursing, and peace studies, will receive their degrees this month. Law School graduation takes place this Saturday, May 18 at 9 a.m. Three other graduation ceremonies will be held May 25 and 26.

Graduate commencement ceremony is Saturday, May 25 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
College of Arts and Sciences ceremony is Sunday, May 26 from 9 to 11 a.m.
School for Business Administration ceremony is Sunday, May 26 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
All ceremonies take place in USD’s Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Hundreds of graduates are San Diego residents whose family and friends will join them for the celebration. Many graduates are the first in their family to earn a college degree. “We are proud to honor our graduates, knowing that they have acquired the knowledge, skills and ethics to be leaders and Changemakers in their chosen professions,” said USD President Mary E. Lyons.

Notable speakers, students and features include:
USD graduate (’96) and San Diego entrepreneur James Brennan, the driving force behind “Rockaway Beach,” a disaster relief fund created for communities affected by Hurricane Sandy, is the speaker for the College of Arts and Sciences’ ceremony on May 26. Immediately after Hurricane Sandy devastated his hometown of Rockaway Beach, NY, Brennan sprung into action raising more than $1m for relief efforts, relocating families to San Diego where children have enrolled in schools and tried to resume a normal life. Brennan was featured on “60 Minutes” last fall.

College of Arts and Sciences valedictorian William Tressel earned a 3.99 grade point average in mathematics and will enter a PhD program in biostatistics at the University of Washington this fall. School of Business Administration valedictorian and San Diegan Milan Brandon also has a 3.99 GPA and will attend the USC Law School.

First-generation graduates include Nick Nobles and Diana Velazquez. When his family’s computer stopped working, a young Nobles found another one in the trash and used the parts to make the family’s PC run again. This fall Nobles will enter a PhD program in computer engineering at UC Riverside. Velazquez will enter a master’s program in Latin American Studies at Indiana University.

A full graduation schedule for Memorial Day Weekend follows:

Saturday, May 18 at 9 to 10:15 a.m.
School of Law
360 Juris Doctor and master of laws degrees
Speaker: Michael Streit, 1975 USD law graduate and former associate justice of the Iowa Supreme Court

Saturday, May 25 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Graduate Commencement from schools of Business, Leadership and Education Sciences, Nursing and Peace
460 master’s and doctoral degrees
Speaker: Scott Sherman, executive director of the Transformative Action Institute, whose work on nonviolent social change projects has been praised by such Nobel Peace Prize Laureates as the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and the late Mother Teresa.

Sunday, May 26 from 9 to 11 a.m.
College of Arts and Sciences Graduation
703 bachelor’s degrees
James Brennan, 1996 USD graduate, currently manages Enlightened Hospitality Group which holds Stingaree, the Fabric Family restaurants and Campine Catering. Driving force behind Rockaway Beach, a fund raising more than $1 million for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Sunday, May 26 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
School of Business Administration and Engineering Programs
582 bachelor’s degrees
Speaker: Paul Rice, president and CEO of Fair Trade USA, the leading certifier of Fair Trade products in the U.S.

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 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university'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's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan 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.