Cal Lutheran celebrates Commencement weekend
More than 1,100 graduates participate in 49th Annual CommencementMay 12, 2012
Cal Lutheran sent forth more than 1,100 graduates during the Forty-Ninth Annual Commencement ceremonies held May 11 and 12 in the new William Rolland Stadium.
Family and friends cheered the students as they walked onto the field and took their seats. President Chris Kimball welcomed them and expressed the University's pride in the graduates.
"Finding Cal Lutheran was the beginning of finding me." Antonia Caro
M.S. in Counseling Psychology
"You have achieved much in your time here. And you leave today to do exceptional things," Kimball told the graduates. "No matter where your next adventure takes you, please know that we are proud of each of you, and all that you have accomplished."
Marcie Aschbrenner, President of the CLU Alumni Association Board of Directors, speaking on behalf of Cal Lutheran's 22,000 alumni, congratulated the students on achieving such an important life milestone. Aschbrenner then inducted the graduates into the Alumni Association.
"I hope that each of you realize that the blessing of a degree from CLU carries on far beyond graduation."
Keynote speaker Tim Gallagher also spoke to all the days to follow long after commencement. He stressed the importance of authenticity in how the graduates would live out their lives and achieve their goals.
"Dreams matter a lot," Gallagher said. "They help you to become the person you want to be. Live today like it's your last day, but plan to live a lot of last days."
Dr. James O'Toole, who was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, addressed the master's and doctoral graduates, extolling the importance of discovering joy in their work to come.
"Your degree is a license to pursue happiness," O'Toole reminded them.
Tammy Rivera-Tubbs, a Moorpark resident who received a doctorate in educational leadership, spoke of her ten years of service in the United States Air Force and the challenges of having become a mother at the age of sixteen. She impressed upon everyone the crucial role of academic learning in our lives and in her own experience.
"The Air Force laid a foundation for my education, and CLU built the house that now stands upon it." Tammy Rivera-Tubbs
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
"The Air Force laid a foundation for my education," Rivera-Tubbs explained. "And CLU built the house that now stands upon it."
Roshmi Mukherjee, a history major from Agoura Hills, talked about the support of the Cal Lutheran community as she and her fellow undergraduate students pursue their dreams.
"CLU has become a home away from home for us, a small world where we have grown, developed, and been prepared for our futures."
ADEP student speaker Raymond DeLaughder, graduating after 24 years of active Army service, described a similar sense of belonging.
"The very moment I stepped onto this campus, I was hooked," DeLaughder explained. "The atmosphere of family, equality, sincerity, and caring from each and every person I met said it all."
Jesse McClain, 2011-2012 Student Body President, who just finished his junior year, reminded the graduates to keep strong the personal connections they had forged.
"We have felt the power of the CLU family from our fellow students," McClain said. "Wherever life takes you after today, never forget your CLU family, because we will never forget you."
Antonia Caro, who is completing her masters in Counseling Psychology, talked about the sense of longing to achieve something greater in life before she came to Cal Lutheran. In reflection, she summed up that moment of discovery simply.
"Finding Cal Lutheran was the beginning of finding me."