For the first time since 2003, commencement was celebrated at Bulldog Stadium on May 14, 2021. Nestled on the west side of campus, where Cedar Avenue and Bulldog Lane meet, over 800 graduates and their family and friends gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the class of 2020 and 2021.

As Dean Denise Seabert stated, the class of 2020 and 2021 are the classes that didn’t just live through history – but made history. In her address to graduates, Seabert said:

“To the class of 2021 and 2020 – you are an anomaly. You completed your degrees during one of the most monumental and challenging times in our nation’s history. When you began your final years in college, no one knew what road bumps would lie ahead, but with unwavering resilience you kept moving. Through the struggles and uncertainties faced, you found strength, and it is with great fortitude and determination that you have made it here today, and it’s leaders like you that build the foundation for this great University.”

CSU Chancellor, Dr. Joseph Castro, returned to the Central Valley to confer the degrees (alongside Fresno State President, Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval) of 1,108 graduates from the class of 2020 and 1,037 graduates from the class of 2021. The College of Health and Human Services historically graduates the most students on campus, including nearly 60% of doctoral degree candidates.

As the sun set on Bulldog Stadium, cheers of joy and celebration could be heard from blocks away, as graduates names were announced one by one. When the graduates turned their tassels from right to left, signifying their status as alumni, the mood in the stadium was electric.

For many of the graduates, this commencement was the first time in 14 months they had been back on campus or even met their classmates and faculty, as many had only seen each other through the virtual realm. Graduate Deans’ Medalist, Mindy Ross, and Undergraduate Deans’ Medalist, Desiree Galvan, were also honored during the ceremony. Earlier in the week, Ross was announced as the University Graduate Medalist – the highest honor given to a graduate student.

The full commencement ceremony can be viewed below (procession begins at 3:30).

All photos courtesy of Fresno State / Cary Edmondson.

To view more photos, please visit the College of Health and Human Services Facebook page.