Thousands will be cheering later this month as more than 11,000 graduating students cross the stage in front of California State University, Northridge’s iconic University Library as CSUN celebrates its 2023 commencement.
An estimated 11,253 students — including 9,215 undergraduate and 2,038 graduate students — are eligible to participate in the exercises scheduled to begin on Saturday, May 13 with the university’s Honors Convocation, and concluding the evening of Monday, May 22, with the last of CSUN’s seven commencement celebrations. All eight events will take place on the lawn in front of the University Library, located at the heart of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.
“The transformative power of higher education is on joyous display during commencement season,” said CSUN President Erika D. Beck. “We celebrate our students, many of whom are the first in their families to earn a college degree; we applaud our world-class faculty and staff for their dedication to facilitating life-changing educational opportunities and experiences; and we honor the families who have cheered, supported and often sacrificed for their students’ educational journeys.”
Honors Convocation begins at 6 p.m. on May 13. This year’s speaker will be CSUN’s new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Meera Komarraju. Komarraju, who joined CSUN in January, came to the university with more than three decades of experience in higher education. Prior to CSUN, she was provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
At 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, graduates from the Departments of Africana Studies, Anthropology, Criminology and Justice Studies, Geography, History, Sociology, and Urban Studies and Planning in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences will take part in CSUN’s second commencement ceremony.
CSUN’s third commencement ceremony — for graduates of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education and the graduates of the Departments of Political Science, Public Administration, Public Sector Management, Psychology and Social Work in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences — will take place at 6 p.m. on May 20.
At 8 a.m. on Sunday, May 21, graduates of the College of Humanities and the Departments of Communication Disorders, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Development will take part in CSUN’s fourth ceremony.
During the ceremony, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters will be conferred upon Rudy Ortega, Jr., community leader and tribal president of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, a native sovereign nation of northern Los Angeles County. As tribal president, Ortega works with local and state governments and the California Historical Commission on policies to protect and enhance tribal resources and oversees programs to sustain the Fernandeño Tataviam community. Ortega serves on CSUN’s Commission on Diversity.
CSUN’s fifth ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. on May 21 for graduates in the Departments of Assisted Technology Studies, Child and Adolescent Development, Environmental and Occupational Health, Health Sciences, Nursing, Physical Therapy and Recreation and Tourism Management in the College of Health and Human Development.
During the ceremony, an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts will be conferred upon writer Charles Yu. Yu is the author of four books, including “Interior Chinatown,” which explores the stereotypes of Asian Americans in Hollywood and in American culture more broadly. “Interior Chinatown” won the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction, was shortlisted for the Le Prix Médicis étranger and longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. He has received the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 award, been nominated for two Writers Guild of America awards for his work on the HBO series “Westworld” and has also written for shows on FX, AMC, Facebook Watch and Adult Swim. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in a number of publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Wired, Time and Ploughshares.
CSUN’s sixth ceremony will take place at 8 a.m. on Monday, May 22, for graduates of the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics.
The university’s seventh and final 2023 ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. on May 22 for graduates of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication.
During that ceremony, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters will be conferred upon alumnus and National Notary Association CEO Milt Valera. He graduated from CSUN in 1968 with a degree in journalism and worked at two Los Angeles metropolitan newspapers before forming his own public relations and marketing agency. In his fifty years with the association, Valera revolutionized the notary profession with the creation of two influential landmark sets of notary standards which are utilized in more than 1.25 billion notarized documents per year.
Valera and his wife Debbie are longtime supporters of CSUN. They have generously supported programs across campus, particularly those that support students who have been part of the foster care system. The university’s administration building, Valera Hall, is named in their honor.
For information about CSUN’s 2023 Commencement, visit the website https://www.csun.edu/commencement.