Cultural Graduate Celebrations bring together campus community

These celebrations are in their ninth year and more numerous than ever.


5/30/2019 | By: Staff Report  |

This marks the eighth year the University of Nevada, Reno's Spring Commencement was complemented by five Cultural Graduate Celebrations, organized by The Center, Every Student. Every Story. These celebrations bring together students, friends, family and faculty to recognize the achievements of Class of 2019 graduates from across disciplines.  

African Diaspora Graduate Celebration

Masters of Ceremonies Albert Lee and Paul Mitchell led the event, which kicked off with Fred Holman's University Welcome and a performance of the Black National Anthem by Albert Lee, followed by the Invocation. SaMoura Horsely, Sylvia Stephens and Pa'shun Minter gave spoken word performances, and TaShauna Stewart delivered the student address. Naida Parson gave the keynote address. Jose Miguel Pulido Leon and Melanie Duckworth presented stoles to the graduates before a video and invitation to reception from Christine Adelaja.

Smiling graduates at the African Diaspora Graduate Celebration
Smiling graduates at the African Diaspora Graduate Celebration, one making a peace sign
A speaker addressing the audience at the African Diapspora Graduate Celebration
Proud students gathered at the African Diaspora Graduate Celebration
A group of mortar boards, some decorated, on the haeds of graduates with a speaker addressing them in the background at the African Diapspora Graduate Celebration
Smiling graduates at the African Diaspora Graduate Celebration

American Indian & Alaska Native Graduate Celebration

Saundra Mitrovich was Master of Ceremonies for the celebration. Eagle Wings Dance Group led everyone in prayer and a flag song. Welcoming and congratulating students, Jose Miguel Pulido Leon came next, followed by University President Marc Johnson, who also gave his congratulations. Serell Smokey gave the keynote address before honors for being Community and Family Partners were bestowed on PLAN Action Alliance and the Harry Family, respectively. Student addresses were delivered by Christina Thomas and Lynsie Dunn. The Families of Graduates and Native American Alumni Chapter granted certificates and stoles to graduates.

The crowd attends to speakers in traditional clothing at the American Indian & Alaskan Native Graduate Celebration
A smiling child sits on the lap of a student speaker at the American Indian & Alaskan Native Graduate Celebration
A speaker at the podium addressing the audience at the American Indian & Alaskan Native Graduate Celebration
Graduates and faculty members walking to the stage at the American Indian & Alaskan Native Graduate Celebration
President Johnson posing with graduates at the American Indian & Alaskan Native Graduate Celebration
A student speaker addressing the audience at the American Indian & Alaskan Native Graduate Celebration

Asian American and Pacific Islander Graduate Celebration

Derek T. Furukawa acted as the Master of Ceremonies for the celebration, welcoming the crowd and introducing Assemblywoman Rochelle Nguyen, the keynote speaker. Student speaker John Vo addressed the audience. Honors were given for Distinguished Scholarship Donor, Outstanding Community Award and scholarship recipients before the processional of the graduates and closing remarks from Furukawa.

Three happy graduates outside the Asian American & Pacific Islander Graduate Celebration
Two graduates with parents at the Asian American & Pacific Islander Graduate Celebration
Three happy graduates at the Asian American & Pacific Islander Graduate Celebration
A graduate recieving honors on stage at the Asian American & Pacific Islander Graduate Celebration
A line of graduates approaching the stage at the Asian American & Pacific Islander Graduate Celebration
Two grads having a great time at the Asian American & Pacific Islander Graduate Celebration

Latinx Graduate Celebration

Masters of Ceremonies Lydia Huerta and Robert Gutierrez-Perez opened things up for Jose Miguel Pulido Leon, J. Diego Zarazua and Kevin Carmen, who gave welcome remarks. Assemblywoman Selena Torres delivered the keynote address. Sandra Rodrguez was presented with the Calmecac Award, and Sara Gallego and Vanessa Amaya were presented with La Promesa Awards. New Latinx faculty from across campus presented certificates and stoles to graduates before Huerta and Gutierrez-Perez gave closing remarks.

Four graduates outside the Latinx Graduate Celebration
Graduates posing at the Latinx Graduate Celebration
Graduates holding up their caps outside the Latinx Graduate Celebration
Graduates with a variety of honors around their necks outside the Latinx Graduate Celebration
Graduates looking over the balcony outside the Latinx Graduate Celebration
Graduates show off decorated caps outside the Latinx Graduate Celebration, with the cap in the foreground reading "Mi familia, los que hacen que todo valga la pena"

Lavender Graduate Celebration

Master of Ceremonies Anthony Martinez kicked things off, introducing Jose Miguel Pulido Leon and Kevin Carmen, who gave welcome remarks. The keynote address was delivered by Bernadette Hinojos and followed by a drag performance by BaeBey Blue. Jose Miguel Pulido Leon, Geoffrey Green and Katie Miller granted graduated certificates and cords. Jax Skye gave the student address. Martinez delivered closing remarks and invited everyone to the reception.

Graduates and faculty members laugh together at the Lavender Graduate Celebration
Three graduates posing outside the Lavender Graduate Celebration
Graduates having fun at the Lavender Graduate Celebration
Smiling graduates at the Lavender Graduate Celebration
Graduates posing at the Lavender Graduate Celebration
Graduates applaud at the Lavender Graduate Celebration

North African and Middle Eastern Graduate Celebration

Master of Ceremonies Joey Walloch opened the event and introduced community faith leaders, who led the audience in an Interfaith Unity Blessing. Jose Miguel Pulido Leon and Shannon Ellis gave welcome remarks, and Shadi Martin delivered the keynote address. Graduate Kristopher Omid Alighchi gave the student address before the granting of stoles and certificates. There was a musical performance by Walloch, and Sherif Elfass gave closing remarks before the reception.

Graduates and faculty members laugh together at the Lavender Graduate Celebration
Three graduates posing outside the Lavender Graduate Celebration
Graduates having fun at the Lavender Graduate Celebration
Smiling graduates at the Lavender Graduate Celebration
Graduates posing at the Lavender Graduate Celebration
Graduates applaud at the Lavender Graduate Celebration

Veterans Graduate Celebration

Terina Caserto welcomed the audience and performed the National Anthem. Graduate Eric Salsman delivered the student address, and Eric James gave the keynote address. Graduates were honored by crossing the stage, which was led by Blane Harding. Donald Stockton gave the farewell address.

Graduates and faculty members laugh together at the Lavender Graduate Celebration
Three graduates posing outside the Lavender Graduate Celebration
Graduates having fun at the Lavender Graduate Celebration
Smiling graduates at the Lavender Graduate Celebration
Graduates posing at the Lavender Graduate Celebration
Graduates applaud at the Lavender Graduate Celebration

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