Class of 2022 commencement is May 14

Resilient Cal Lutheran students faced many challenges

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Austin Gregory of Thousand Oaks will reflect on the graduates' shared journey when he speaks on their behalf. 

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — April 28, 2022) California Lutheran University will hold its 2022 Traditional Undergraduate Commencement at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14. It will take place in William Rolland Stadium on the Thousand Oaks campus for the first time since 2019 because the pandemic necessitated a virtual ceremony in 2020 and an off-campus drive-in event in 2021.

The 705 students in the Class of 2022 who are eligible to participate in the 59th annual ceremony are a resilient group who faced many challenges together. Most started classes in fall 2018, when an alumnus was killed and many students were in attendance during the Borderline shooting, and when the Hill and Woolsey fires burned nearby. The pandemic struck at the end of the next academic year, forcing a switch to virtual classes and a move home for most residential students. Cal Lutheran offered in-person classes most of the next academic year and all of this year, and the students successfully navigated outdoor classrooms, daily health checks and masking protocols along the way.

Austin Gregory of Thousand Oaks will reflect on this journey when he speaks on behalf of the graduates. He is receiving a bachelor’s degree in communication with a concentration in sports communication and a minor in sports management. With the support he has received from faculty in the sports management and film and television programs, the longtime youth sports volunteer feels prepared to pursue a career in sports broadcasting, ideally for a professional team. He has been a play-by-play broadcaster for Cal Lutheran’s baseball, basketball, football and soccer teams. He also served as co-president, sports director and show host for iCLU Radio; interned for and played in the intramural sports program; and was an officer for the Business of Sports Club. His campus involvement went beyond sports and broadcast to include service as a presidential host, peer adviser and student ambassador. He was active in the Hawaiian and Hillel clubs. Off campus, the former Thousand Oaks High School water polo player helped coach his former team.

Josyua Gatison, who has served as president of the Associated Students of California Lutheran University (ASCLU) for the past two years, will give the welcome address. Never having run for an elected position before, he entered the race for the ASCLU Senate as a write-in candidate a few weeks into his first year and has served on student government ever since. He interned with the university’s Community Service Center and served as senior vice president of the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity and treasurer of the Psychology Club. He has also been involved with the Black Student Union and Pre-Law Society. As one of the university’s McNair Scholars, he researched the economic and psychological disparities within marginalized communities, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The San Leandro resident is receiving a degree in psychology with a minor in German.

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