Virtual Commencement Celebration 2020

Class of 2020, San Diego State University congratulates you on your achievements and upcoming graduation. Although we are unable to mark this milestone in person, the Virtual Commencement Celebration provides an opportunity for our graduates to celebrate their accomplishments with loved ones and the entire SDSU community.

Graduates also have the option to participate in the postponed in-person ceremonies, which SDSU currently plans to hold in December 2020 or May 2021.

Congratulations, and go Aztecs!

Subtitles and Closed Captions

(Music)
(Music)
Welcome to San Diego State University's Virtual Commencement Celebration for the
Welcome to San Diego State University's Virtual Commencement Celebration for the
Class of 2020. Today, we honor your academic
Class of 2020. Today, we honor your academic
achievements. What you have accomplished is a remarkable testament to your
achievements. What you have accomplished is a remarkable testament to your
fortitude and resiliency. The word "commencement" literally means a beginning
fortitude and resiliency. The word "commencement" literally means a beginning
or a new start, so today we celebrate your accomplishments and the beginning
or a new start, so today we celebrate your accomplishments and the beginning
of a new chapter in your life journey. With your SDSU diploma, you can walk
of a new chapter in your life journey. With your SDSU diploma, you can walk
boldly into places and spaces that need your curiosity, compassion, and courage
boldly into places and spaces that need your curiosity, compassion, and courage
more than ever before. During your time at SDSU, you have seen these qualities in
more than ever before. During your time at SDSU, you have seen these qualities in
action. In 2017, as a testament to our students' commitment to sustainability,
action. In 2017, as a testament to our students' commitment to sustainability,
our Student Union earned LEED Double Platinum Status, making SDSU only the
our Student Union earned LEED Double Platinum Status, making SDSU only the
second university in the nation with two Double LEED Platinum buildings.
second university in the nation with two Double LEED Platinum buildings.
And your class entered our new Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex, which
And your class entered our new Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex, which
kicked off a new era of collaboration and discovery at SDSU. That same year,
kicked off a new era of collaboration and discovery at SDSU. That same year,
student-scholar Ashley Henderson was named the Mountain West Women's
student-scholar Ashley Henderson was named the Mountain West Women's
Indoor Track and Field Student-Athlete of the Year. By 2019, our students led the
Indoor Track and Field Student-Athlete of the Year. By 2019, our students led the
way to raise more than 600,000 pounds of food for San Diegans in
way to raise more than 600,000 pounds of food for San Diegans in
need through the Aztecs Rock Hunger food drive. 2020 is not over yet,
need through the Aztecs Rock Hunger food drive. 2020 is not over yet,
but who can forget that our men's basketball team was the only undefeated
but who can forget that our men's basketball team was the only undefeated
team in the nation. We owned the map with a remarkable 26-0 starting record and
team in the nation. We owned the map with a remarkable 26-0 starting record and
that Aztec For Life Kawhi Leonard came home when we retired his jersey at Viejas
that Aztec For Life Kawhi Leonard came home when we retired his jersey at Viejas
Arena. These accomplishments and your timeline here at SDSU represent the
Arena. These accomplishments and your timeline here at SDSU represent the
remarkable spirit of tenacity and perseverance that will propel you beyond
remarkable spirit of tenacity and perseverance that will propel you beyond
your imagination. You have the skills, the preparation, the experience, and the grit
your imagination. You have the skills, the preparation, the experience, and the grit
to make a difference at a time where this difference is
to make a difference at a time where this difference is
desperately needed. We are exceedingly proud of what you have accomplished, who
desperately needed. We are exceedingly proud of what you have accomplished, who
you are becoming, and even more, who you will continue to become. Know that your
you are becoming, and even more, who you will continue to become. Know that your
Aztec family loves you and wishes you continued success as you embark on your
Aztec family loves you and wishes you continued success as you embark on your
next adventure. Class of 2020, congratulations on your accomplishments
next adventure. Class of 2020, congratulations on your accomplishments
and your future success! Go Aztecs!
and your future success! Go Aztecs!
>>Throughout the years, you experienced triumph. You also embraced
>>Throughout the years, you experienced triumph. You also embraced
unpredictability and unexpected turns to reach this moment. Times may be tough, but
unpredictability and unexpected turns to reach this moment. Times may be tough, but
you are Aztec strong. You are a diverse graduating class of 10,500 students from
you are Aztec strong. You are a diverse graduating class of 10,500 students from
53 countries and 48 states. Over these years, you travelled the world, you gained
53 countries and 48 states. Over these years, you travelled the world, you gained
transformative knowledge, give back to communities and seek adventure. As the
transformative knowledge, give back to communities and seek adventure. As the
world changed, your University evolved with the opening of the EIS building
world changed, your University evolved with the opening of the EIS building
with state-of-the-art labs and the LEED Silver South Campus Plaza. The Latinx
with state-of-the-art labs and the LEED Silver South Campus Plaza. The Latinx
Resource Center and Native Resource Center opened along with a new home
Resource Center and Native Resource Center opened along with a new home
for the Black Resource Center. Reflecting a growing global learning community, the
for the Black Resource Center. Reflecting a growing global learning community, the
College of Extended Studies became SDSU World Campus and is graduating the first
College of Extended Studies became SDSU World Campus and is graduating the first
class of students who earned their business degree online. And sweeping
class of students who earned their business degree online. And sweeping
support for the expansion of SDSU into Mission Valley marked a pivotal moment
support for the expansion of SDSU into Mission Valley marked a pivotal moment
for the future of the University and our regional community. We are one SDSU
for the future of the University and our regional community. We are one SDSU
with SDSU Imperial Valley and SDSU Georgia which each have a profound
with SDSU Imperial Valley and SDSU Georgia which each have a profound
impact on expanding the educational and professional capacities of their local
impact on expanding the educational and professional capacities of their local
communities. Colleges, you have trained to be educators, artists, engineers, nurses,
communities. Colleges, you have trained to be educators, artists, engineers, nurses,
journalists, business leaders, and scientists. SDSU is a research powerhouse with
journalists, business leaders, and scientists. SDSU is a research powerhouse with
funding growing significantly for students and faculty to achieve research
funding growing significantly for students and faculty to achieve research
milestones and niche areas of expertise. The Class of 2020 is part of a rich
milestones and niche areas of expertise. The Class of 2020 is part of a rich
University history that celebrated cornerstone anniversaries for Chicana
University history that celebrated cornerstone anniversaries for Chicana
Chicano Studies, Women's Studies, Educational Opportunity Programs and
Chicano Studies, Women's Studies, Educational Opportunity Programs and
Ethnic Affairs, MFA in Creative Writing, and International Business. Throughout
Ethnic Affairs, MFA in Creative Writing, and International Business. Throughout
that history, our faculty and staff have introduced innovative programs that have
that history, our faculty and staff have introduced innovative programs that have
created pathways for many first-gen students and improved diversity in the
created pathways for many first-gen students and improved diversity in the
research world. The SDSU Health Link Center was launched to pursue
research world. The SDSU Health Link Center was launched to pursue
collaborative research in health disparities. The Rocket Project had a
collaborative research in health disparities. The Rocket Project had a
successful start this year when the Lady Elizabeth reached 13,205 feet in altitude.
successful start this year when the Lady Elizabeth reached 13,205 feet in altitude.
>>Congratulations, Class of 2020. On behalf of Graduate Research Affairs,
>>Congratulations, Class of 2020. On behalf of Graduate Research Affairs,
I'd like to recognize all of our graduate students today. San Diego State
I'd like to recognize all of our graduate students today. San Diego State
offers over a hundred master's, doctoral, and advance certificate programs across the
offers over a hundred master's, doctoral, and advance certificate programs across the
sciences, engineering, humanities, social sciences, arts, education, and business.
sciences, engineering, humanities, social sciences, arts, education, and business.
Your contributions span the entire reach of our campus. After years of
Your contributions span the entire reach of our campus. After years of
continued study, these scholars have demonstrated an extraordinary knowledge
continued study, these scholars have demonstrated an extraordinary knowledge
of an academic field and the capacity for original, intensive research. In my
of an academic field and the capacity for original, intensive research. In my
opinion, graduate students are the lifeblood of the campus. You're at the
opinion, graduate students are the lifeblood of the campus. You're at the
core of our mission for novel discovery, creation of new ways of thinking or
core of our mission for novel discovery, creation of new ways of thinking or
expressing ourselves, and production of the leaders that will change our society.
expressing ourselves, and production of the leaders that will change our society.
We're really proud of your dedication and we look forward to seeing where the
We're really proud of your dedication and we look forward to seeing where the
next chapter will take you. Congratulations, and Go Aztecs.
next chapter will take you. Congratulations, and Go Aztecs.
Class of 2020, your deans and I salute you today.
Class of 2020, your deans and I salute you today.
Reaching this milestone is an incredible accomplishment.
Reaching this milestone is an incredible accomplishment.
You have grown personally, professionally and intellectually.
You have grown personally, professionally and intellectually.
We are deeply honored that you shared this part of your life with us and
We are deeply honored that you shared this part of your life with us and
we're grateful for your wonderful contributions to our University.
we're grateful for your wonderful contributions to our University.
We wish you much success.
We wish you much success.
All Deans: Congratulations, Class of 2020!
All Deans: Congratulations, Class of 2020!
Hello Class of 2020. I'm Ellen Ochoa, astronaut and former director at NASA's
Hello Class of 2020. I'm Ellen Ochoa, astronaut and former director at NASA's
Johnson Space Center. 40 years ago, I graduated from San Diego State and while
Johnson Space Center. 40 years ago, I graduated from San Diego State and while
I didn't know what was in store for me in the future, I was well prepared to
I didn't know what was in store for me in the future, I was well prepared to
make the most of my education. I'm proud to be an Aztec and I welcome you to the
make the most of my education. I'm proud to be an Aztec and I welcome you to the
large group of Aztec alumni. Congratulations on reaching this
large group of Aztec alumni. Congratulations on reaching this
important milestone in your life and best wishes to you, your families, and
important milestone in your life and best wishes to you, your families, and
your supporters on this momentous occasion.
your supporters on this momentous occasion.
>>The School of Music and Dance performed at Copley Symphony Hall
>>The School of Music and Dance performed at Copley Symphony Hall
and SDSU Symphony and Wind Symphony made a splash with a
and SDSU Symphony and Wind Symphony made a splash with a
sunset concert in Imperial Beach in front of thousands. Arts Alive festival
sunset concert in Imperial Beach in front of thousands. Arts Alive festival
showcased SDSU's vibrant visual and performing arts. Fowler business students
showcased SDSU's vibrant visual and performing arts. Fowler business students
continue to drive the world-renowned business program to new heights.
continue to drive the world-renowned business program to new heights.
The entrepreneurship program sits in the top 20 among public universities and the
The entrepreneurship program sits in the top 20 among public universities and the
International Business program in the top five. Students participated in and
International Business program in the top five. Students participated in and
helped organize entrepreneurship events and conferences featuring top executives
helped organize entrepreneurship events and conferences featuring top executives
and thought leaders.
and thought leaders.
>>What is up, San Diego State. Chase Fisher here, Class of 2010.
>>What is up, San Diego State. Chase Fisher here, Class of 2010.
I am the founder and "shaderator" of Blenders Eyewear. Exactly 10 years ago, I
I am the founder and "shaderator" of Blenders Eyewear. Exactly 10 years ago, I
was in your guys' shoes, except the only difference, is I had a few extra rolls
was in your guys' shoes, except the only difference, is I had a few extra rolls
of toilet paper and you don't. Sorry. Alright, I'll take these off.
of toilet paper and you don't. Sorry. Alright, I'll take these off.
Did you guys ever think you'd be graduating virtually amidst a global pandemic
Did you guys ever think you'd be graduating virtually amidst a global pandemic
Wow, what a radical way to go out.
Wow, what a radical way to go out.
You guys should definitely be proud.
You guys should definitely be proud.
I certainly am. You've earned it by being very disciplined, through hard work, and
I certainly am. You've earned it by being very disciplined, through hard work, and
becoming a true Aztec. These are your superpowers. They're universal and they
becoming a true Aztec. These are your superpowers. They're universal and they
will serve you. Us Aztecs don't settle for mediocrity. We're the change makers, and we
will serve you. Us Aztecs don't settle for mediocrity. We're the change makers, and we
are the leaders of the next generation. Some of you may know your next step and
are the leaders of the next generation. Some of you may know your next step and
some of you may not and that's okay. I graduated not knowing my next step.
some of you may not and that's okay. I graduated not knowing my next step.
See, life is all about experience—it's the only way we grow. Embrace your
See, life is all about experience—it's the only way we grow. Embrace your
inexperience and embrace the unknown. I started Blenders two years out of
inexperience and embrace the unknown. I started Blenders two years out of
college from a $2,000 investment. We're now eight years in
college from a $2,000 investment. We're now eight years in
and the company's worth $90 million. The point is I'm no different than you.
and the company's worth $90 million. The point is I'm no different than you.
I didn't have a business plan, I didn't have experience, but I had
I didn't have a business plan, I didn't have experience, but I had
confidence that I can figure it out, and that confidence was born at San Diego State.
confidence that I can figure it out, and that confidence was born at San Diego State.
The world right now is teeming with life and opportunity and you guys
The world right now is teeming with life and opportunity and you guys
are in an amazing position to go out and capitalize on the road ahead. Today is
are in an amazing position to go out and capitalize on the road ahead. Today is
the beginning of anything you want but it's up to you to blaze your own path and
the beginning of anything you want but it's up to you to blaze your own path and
make it happen. I love you guys so much, I'm so proud of you, go out and crush it. Boom!
make it happen. I love you guys so much, I'm so proud of you, go out and crush it. Boom!
Hello Class of 2020, this is Jim Sinegal— a proud Aztec and the former
Hello Class of 2020, this is Jim Sinegal— a proud Aztec and the former
CEO and co-founder of Costco Wholesale.
CEO and co-founder of Costco Wholesale.
I want to offer my personal congratulations for what all of you have
I want to offer my personal congratulations for what all of you have
accomplished. Great job, and keep your chin up. We're in tough times but we've
accomplished. Great job, and keep your chin up. We're in tough times but we've
been the tough times before and we'll get through all of this, I promise you.
been the tough times before and we'll get through all of this, I promise you.
Good luck to you and Go Aztecs!
Good luck to you and Go Aztecs!
>>What's up Aztecs, Jordan Harrison here—your 2014 Fowler
>>What's up Aztecs, Jordan Harrison here—your 2014 Fowler
College of Business graduate and we simply want to celebrate you. In these
College of Business graduate and we simply want to celebrate you. In these
unprecedented times, we still want to celebrate your amazing accomplishments
unprecedented times, we still want to celebrate your amazing accomplishments
and work that you all have done at San Diego State University. From my heart to
and work that you all have done at San Diego State University. From my heart to
yours, congratulations.
yours, congratulations.
>>Hello, Class of 2020.
>>Hello, Class of 2020.
I'm Susan Salka, CEO of AMN Healthcare and a proud Aztec. Congratulations on
I'm Susan Salka, CEO of AMN Healthcare and a proud Aztec. Congratulations on
your graduation and the culmination of what I know has been a tremendous amount
your graduation and the culmination of what I know has been a tremendous amount
of work and passion poured into getting you to this time and it's great news for
of work and passion poured into getting you to this time and it's great news for
everyone around you because we need you. We need you to be creating the vision
everyone around you because we need you. We need you to be creating the vision
for the future and to make it happen. I know that you will make an impact far
for the future and to make it happen. I know that you will make an impact far
beyond anything that any of us could even imagine today but also remember to
beyond anything that any of us could even imagine today but also remember to
enjoy the journey, savor every experience, make the most of every relationship. You
enjoy the journey, savor every experience, make the most of every relationship. You
will always be strong because you're an Aztec and I know you will make us proud.
will always be strong because you're an Aztec and I know you will make us proud.
>>Hello Class of 2020, I'm Ron Fowler, proud Aztec and executive
>>Hello Class of 2020, I'm Ron Fowler, proud Aztec and executive
chairman and co-owner of the San Diego Padres. Congratulations on earning your
chairman and co-owner of the San Diego Padres. Congratulations on earning your
degree. It's a major accomplishment and it should be celebrated.
degree. It's a major accomplishment and it should be celebrated.
During these crazy times, stay focused but flexible and you will persevere and
During these crazy times, stay focused but flexible and you will persevere and
succeed.
succeed.
Aztecs around the nation are joining me
Aztecs around the nation are joining me
in recognizing you today, tomorrow, and always. Again, congratulations, I wish
in recognizing you today, tomorrow, and always. Again, congratulations, I wish
you the best.
you the best.
>>What's up, San Diego State Class of 2020. It's an honor to talk to
>>What's up, San Diego State Class of 2020. It's an honor to talk to
you today. I wish I was there in person in beautiful San Diego giving this
you today. I wish I was there in person in beautiful San Diego giving this
speech, but because this world is so insane, we're not around each other. So I
speech, but because this world is so insane, we're not around each other. So I
want to give you some words of encouragement. When I graduated in the
want to give you some words of encouragement. When I graduated in the
early '90s, the job market was horrendous. I didn't think I was ever going to have a
early '90s, the job market was horrendous. I didn't think I was ever going to have a
job, I was going to have a house, I was going to have any money,
job, I was going to have a house, I was going to have any money,
and it worked out for me because I put my nose to the grindstone
and it worked out for me because I put my nose to the grindstone
and I know that you guys are going to do the same thing,
and I know that you guys are going to do the same thing,
so I wish you all the best. Follow your dreams,
so I wish you all the best. Follow your dreams,
some of you are going to make it big and I'm really proud and I
some of you are going to make it big and I'm really proud and I
hope that I'll be there to listen to you guys talk in 20-30 years from now to the
hope that I'll be there to listen to you guys talk in 20-30 years from now to the
next generation and giving them the same words that I'm giving you.
next generation and giving them the same words that I'm giving you.
So, congratulations, enjoy it.
So, congratulations, enjoy it.
(Music)
(Music)
>>From the classroom to the court, you showed why State is a global force.
>>From the classroom to the court, you showed why State is a global force.
Your Aztecs went from unranked to undefeated for a 26-game streak this year,
Your Aztecs went from unranked to undefeated for a 26-game streak this year,
crowned as Mountain West Conference champions and ranked in the top four in
crowned as Mountain West Conference champions and ranked in the top four in
the nation week after week, after week. The show was unstoppable in their
the nation week after week, after week. The show was unstoppable in their
spirit, antics, and dedication.
spirit, antics, and dedication.
>>Class of 2020, what's up. Just wanted to say
>>Class of 2020, what's up. Just wanted to say
congratulations on your big day and thanks for your support throughout the
congratulations on your big day and thanks for your support throughout the
season. We couldn't have dominated the Mountain West without you, so go on out
season. We couldn't have dominated the Mountain West without you, so go on out
there, take your best shot, and stay Aztec proud.
there, take your best shot, and stay Aztec proud.
>>Hi there, Class of 2020. Bette Boucher here, one of your Aztec Show grandmas.
>>Hi there, Class of 2020. Bette Boucher here, one of your Aztec Show grandmas.
>>HI everybody, Leila McCoy— your other Show grandma.
>>HI everybody, Leila McCoy— your other Show grandma.
Bette and I hope you remain Aztecs For Life.
Bette and I hope you remain Aztecs For Life.
We are so proud of all of you for all the hard work you've done
We are so proud of all of you for all the hard work you've done
at SDSU to be graduating today.
at SDSU to be graduating today.
My college years gave me a lifetime of memories and I know yours will, too.
My college years gave me a lifetime of memories and I know yours will, too.
We wish nothing for you but health and happiness in your future.
We wish nothing for you but health and happiness in your future.
It will sure be fun to see you next basketball season.
It will sure be fun to see you next basketball season.
Remember, Aztecs strong.
Remember, Aztecs strong.
Go Aztecs!
Go Aztecs!
>>Hello, I'm Brian Dutcher—head coach of our Mountain West Conference Champion Aztec
>>Hello, I'm Brian Dutcher—head coach of our Mountain West Conference Champion Aztec
men's basketball team. I want to personally congratulate the graduating
men's basketball team. I want to personally congratulate the graduating
Class of 2020. Like our Aztec team did many times this past season, you have
Class of 2020. Like our Aztec team did many times this past season, you have
persevered through some challenging times and achieved your victory. You are
persevered through some challenging times and achieved your victory. You are
now a degree holder from San Diego State University, ready for a world full of
now a degree holder from San Diego State University, ready for a world full of
tremendous opportunity and challenge. All my best as you move forward.
tremendous opportunity and challenge. All my best as you move forward.
Go Aztecs!
Go Aztecs!
>>San Diego State posted the nation's best combined football and
>>San Diego State posted the nation's best combined football and
men's basketball record this season and also took home hardware for women's
men's basketball record this season and also took home hardware for women's
soccer and the swimming and diving conference titles. Aztecs Football
soccer and the swimming and diving conference titles. Aztecs Football
playing in a bowl game for a record 10th straight season, winning the
playing in a bowl game for a record 10th straight season, winning the
New Mexico Bowl. And your school spirit will be carried on when the Aztecs play under
New Mexico Bowl. And your school spirit will be carried on when the Aztecs play under
even brighter lights in the new Aztec Stadium in Mission Valley, thanks in part
even brighter lights in the new Aztec Stadium in Mission Valley, thanks in part
to a $15 million donation from Mrs. Dianne Bashor. Thanks to you, SDSU
to a $15 million donation from Mrs. Dianne Bashor. Thanks to you, SDSU
and our community is stronger. You got involved and made a difference through
and our community is stronger. You got involved and made a difference through
leadership, philanthropy, advocacy, and shared governance through A.S., and more
leadership, philanthropy, advocacy, and shared governance through A.S., and more
than $365,000 was raised at the 6th Annual
than $365,000 was raised at the 6th Annual
Dance Marathon for Rady's Children's Hospital, advancing research for treatment.
Dance Marathon for Rady's Children's Hospital, advancing research for treatment.
You took State by storm and when you take on the world,
You took State by storm and when you take on the world,
remind them your achievements,
remind them your achievements,
contributions, and ambition are unparalleled. You defy expectations.
contributions, and ambition are unparalleled. You defy expectations.
You are an Aztec For Life.
You are an Aztec For Life.
>>Class of 2020, I am excited and honored to share this
>>Class of 2020, I am excited and honored to share this
moment with you. I am certain this isn't how we envisioned our graduation day, but
moment with you. I am certain this isn't how we envisioned our graduation day, but
the thing about us, the Class of 2020, is that our resilience has been and
the thing about us, the Class of 2020, is that our resilience has been and
continues to be stronger than our circumstances. This is a celebratory
continues to be stronger than our circumstances. This is a celebratory
occasion and we should be extremely proud of our accomplishments, and as we
occasion and we should be extremely proud of our accomplishments, and as we
celebrate, we must express our heartfelt thank you to our loved ones—the family
celebrate, we must express our heartfelt thank you to our loved ones—the family
and friends who have supported and guided us throughout this journey.
and friends who have supported and guided us throughout this journey.
This moment would not be possible without your love and encouragement, thank you.
This moment would not be possible without your love and encouragement, thank you.
Now, because this is a celebratory occasion, I ask that we reminisce and
Now, because this is a celebratory occasion, I ask that we reminisce and
highlight the special memories that we made here on the Mesa—from doing all-nighters
highlight the special memories that we made here on the Mesa—from doing all-nighters
in the library, to eating delicious crunch wraps from Trujillo's, to watching
in the library, to eating delicious crunch wraps from Trujillo's, to watching
our men's basketball team make history this year. However, we are graduating
our men's basketball team make history this year. However, we are graduating
during a time that feels uneasy. You are concerned with many different factors.
during a time that feels uneasy. You are concerned with many different factors.
Trying to enter an uncertain job market while dealing with a global pandemic,
Trying to enter an uncertain job market while dealing with a global pandemic,
this is scary. As I stated in the beginning, that strength and resilience
this is scary. As I stated in the beginning, that strength and resilience
that was developed here is going to be tested more than ever before, and instead
that was developed here is going to be tested more than ever before, and instead
of trying to suppress any worry or concern you may have, live in it. As you
of trying to suppress any worry or concern you may have, live in it. As you
graduate today, you are equipped with the intellectual capacity and emotional
graduate today, you are equipped with the intellectual capacity and emotional
wherewithal to get through this. SDSU taught me that you have to take
wherewithal to get through this. SDSU taught me that you have to take
what life gives you and make it. A young boy coming from southeast
what life gives you and make it. A young boy coming from southeast
San Diego from a single mother, low-income household,
San Diego from a single mother, low-income household,
life was not giving me the perfect hand.
life was not giving me the perfect hand.
I worked hard to get to San Diego State, and when I got here, not everything went
I worked hard to get to San Diego State, and when I got here, not everything went
my way. I lost out on opportunities I wish I had taken advantage of and I had
my way. I lost out on opportunities I wish I had taken advantage of and I had
failures, but through it all, I kept going. We all have had our own challenges but
failures, but through it all, I kept going. We all have had our own challenges but
we kept going. We are the embodiment of SDSU.
we kept going. We are the embodiment of SDSU.
SDSU is strong. SDSU is resilient, and we are SDSU. San Diego State will
SDSU is strong. SDSU is resilient, and we are SDSU. San Diego State will
always be home and we take home with us every step of our life journey.
always be home and we take home with us every step of our life journey.
Congratulations, graduates. And now, at this time, I would like to ask my fellow
Congratulations, graduates. And now, at this time, I would like to ask my fellow
bachelor's degree candidates to please join me in marking this very important
bachelor's degree candidates to please join me in marking this very important
moment. It's time to move our tassel, so no matter where you are, please stand up
moment. It's time to move our tassel, so no matter where you are, please stand up
and embrace this moment. Even if you're not wearing your cap, it is the time to give
and embrace this moment. Even if you're not wearing your cap, it is the time to give
a high-five and a virtual hug to everybody who's here celebrating with
a high-five and a virtual hug to everybody who's here celebrating with
you today. On the count of three, we're gonna move our tassel from the right
you today. On the count of three, we're gonna move our tassel from the right
side to the left side, all right? We'll do this together. One, two, three... Congratulations,
side to the left side, all right? We'll do this together. One, two, three... Congratulations,
Class of 2020, and Go Aztecs!
Class of 2020, and Go Aztecs!
(SDSU Fight Song)
(SDSU Fight Song)

Transcript

(Music) Welcome to San Diego State University's Virtual Commencement Celebration for the Class of 2020. Today, we honor your academic achievements. What you have accomplished is a remarkable testament to your fortitude and resiliency. The word "commencement" literally means a beginning or a new start, so today we celebrate your accomplishments and the beginning of a new chapter in your life journey. With your SDSU diploma, you can walk boldly into places and spaces that need your curiosity, compassion, and courage more than ever before. During your time at SDSU, you have seen these qualities in action. In 2017, as a testament to our students' commitment to sustainability, our Student Union earned LEED Double Platinum Status, making SDSU only the second university in the nation with two Double LEED Platinum buildings.
And your class entered our new Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex, which kicked off a new era of collaboration and discovery at SDSU. That same year, student-scholar Ashley Henderson was named the Mountain West Women's Indoor Track and Field Student-Athlete of the Year. By 2019, our students led the way to raise more than 600,000 pounds of food for San Diegans in need through the Aztecs Rock Hunger food drive. 2020 is not over yet, but who can forget that our men's basketball team was the only undefeated team in the nation. We owned the map with a remarkable 26-0 starting record and that Aztec For Life Kawhi Leonard came home when we retired his jersey at Viejas Arena. These accomplishments and your timeline here at SDSU represent the remarkable spirit of tenacity and perseverance that will propel you beyond your imagination. You have the skills, the preparation, the experience, and the grit to make a difference at a time where this difference is desperately needed. We are exceedingly proud of what you have accomplished, who you are becoming, and even more, who you will continue to become. Know that your Aztec family loves you and wishes you continued success as you embark on your next adventure. Class of 2020, congratulations on your accomplishments and your future success! Go Aztecs! >>Throughout the years, you experienced triumph. You also embraced unpredictability and unexpected turns to reach this moment. Times may be tough, but you are Aztec strong. You are a diverse graduating class of 10,500 students from 53 countries and 48 states. Over these years, you travelled the world, you gained transformative knowledge, give back to communities and seek adventure. As the world changed, your University evolved with the opening of the EIS building with state-of-the-art labs and the LEED Silver South Campus Plaza. The Latinx Resource Center and Native Resource Center opened along with a new home for the Black Resource Center. Reflecting a growing global learning community, the College of Extended Studies became SDSU World Campus and is graduating the first class of students who earned their business degree online. And sweeping support for the expansion of SDSU into Mission Valley marked a pivotal moment for the future of the University and our regional community. We are one SDSU with SDSU Imperial Valley and SDSU Georgia which each have a profound impact on expanding the educational and professional capacities of their local communities. Colleges, you have trained to be educators, artists, engineers, nurses, journalists, business leaders, and scientists. SDSU is a research powerhouse with funding growing significantly for students and faculty to achieve research milestones and niche areas of expertise. The Class of 2020 is part of a rich University history that celebrated cornerstone anniversaries for Chicana Chicano Studies, Women's Studies, Educational Opportunity Programs and Ethnic Affairs, MFA in Creative Writing, and International Business. Throughout that history, our faculty and staff have introduced innovative programs that have created pathways for many first-gen students and improved diversity in the research world. The SDSU Health Link Center was launched to pursue collaborative research in health disparities. The Rocket Project had a successful start this year when the Lady Elizabeth reached 13,205 feet in altitude.
>>Congratulations, Class of 2020. On behalf of Graduate Research Affairs, I'd like to recognize all of our graduate students today. San Diego State offers over a hundred master's, doctoral, and advance certificate programs across the sciences, engineering, humanities, social sciences, arts, education, and business.
Your contributions span the entire reach of our campus. After years of continued study, these scholars have demonstrated an extraordinary knowledge of an academic field and the capacity for original, intensive research. In my opinion, graduate students are the lifeblood of the campus. You're at the core of our mission for novel discovery, creation of new ways of thinking or expressing ourselves, and production of the leaders that will change our society.
We're really proud of your dedication and we look forward to seeing where the next chapter will take you. Congratulations, and Go Aztecs.
Class of 2020, your deans and I salute you today.
Reaching this milestone is an incredible accomplishment.
You have grown personally, professionally and intellectually.
We are deeply honored that you shared this part of your life with us and we're grateful for your wonderful contributions to our University.
We wish you much success.
All Deans: Congratulations, Class of 2020! Hello Class of 2020. I'm Ellen Ochoa, astronaut and former director at NASA's Johnson Space Center. 40 years ago, I graduated from San Diego State and while I didn't know what was in store for me in the future, I was well prepared to make the most of my education. I'm proud to be an Aztec and I welcome you to the large group of Aztec alumni. Congratulations on reaching this important milestone in your life and best wishes to you, your families, and your supporters on this momentous occasion.
>>The School of Music and Dance performed at Copley Symphony Hall and SDSU Symphony and Wind Symphony made a splash with a sunset concert in Imperial Beach in front of thousands. Arts Alive festival showcased SDSU's vibrant visual and performing arts. Fowler business students continue to drive the world-renowned business program to new heights.
The entrepreneurship program sits in the top 20 among public universities and the International Business program in the top five. Students participated in and helped organize entrepreneurship events and conferences featuring top executives and thought leaders.
>>What is up, San Diego State. Chase Fisher here, Class of 2010.
I am the founder and "shaderator" of Blenders Eyewear. Exactly 10 years ago, I was in your guys' shoes, except the only difference, is I had a few extra rolls of toilet paper and you don't. Sorry. Alright, I'll take these off.
Did you guys ever think you'd be graduating virtually amidst a global pandemic Wow, what a radical way to go out.
You guys should definitely be proud.
I certainly am. You've earned it by being very disciplined, through hard work, and becoming a true Aztec. These are your superpowers. They're universal and they will serve you. Us Aztecs don't settle for mediocrity. We're the change makers, and we are the leaders of the next generation. Some of you may know your next step and some of you may not and that's okay. I graduated not knowing my next step.
See, life is all about experience—it's the only way we grow. Embrace your inexperience and embrace the unknown. I started Blenders two years out of college from a $2,000 investment. We're now eight years in and the company's worth $90 million. The point is I'm no different than you.
I didn't have a business plan, I didn't have experience, but I had confidence that I can figure it out, and that confidence was born at San Diego State.
The world right now is teeming with life and opportunity and you guys are in an amazing position to go out and capitalize on the road ahead. Today is the beginning of anything you want but it's up to you to blaze your own path and make it happen. I love you guys so much, I'm so proud of you, go out and crush it. Boom! Hello Class of 2020, this is Jim Sinegal— a proud Aztec and the former CEO and co-founder of Costco Wholesale.
I want to offer my personal congratulations for what all of you have accomplished. Great job, and keep your chin up. We're in tough times but we've been the tough times before and we'll get through all of this, I promise you.
Good luck to you and Go Aztecs! >>What's up Aztecs, Jordan Harrison here—your 2014 Fowler College of Business graduate and we simply want to celebrate you. In these unprecedented times, we still want to celebrate your amazing accomplishments and work that you all have done at San Diego State University. From my heart to yours, congratulations.
>>Hello, Class of 2020.
I'm Susan Salka, CEO of AMN Healthcare and a proud Aztec. Congratulations on your graduation and the culmination of what I know has been a tremendous amount of work and passion poured into getting you to this time and it's great news for everyone around you because we need you. We need you to be creating the vision for the future and to make it happen. I know that you will make an impact far beyond anything that any of us could even imagine today but also remember to enjoy the journey, savor every experience, make the most of every relationship. You will always be strong because you're an Aztec and I know you will make us proud.
>>Hello Class of 2020, I'm Ron Fowler, proud Aztec and executive chairman and co-owner of the San Diego Padres. Congratulations on earning your degree. It's a major accomplishment and it should be celebrated.
During these crazy times, stay focused but flexible and you will persevere and succeed.
Aztecs around the nation are joining me in recognizing you today, tomorrow, and always. Again, congratulations, I wish you the best.
>>What's up, San Diego State Class of 2020. It's an honor to talk to you today. I wish I was there in person in beautiful San Diego giving this speech, but because this world is so insane, we're not around each other. So I want to give you some words of encouragement. When I graduated in the early '90s, the job market was horrendous. I didn't think I was ever going to have a job, I was going to have a house, I was going to have any money, and it worked out for me because I put my nose to the grindstone and I know that you guys are going to do the same thing, so I wish you all the best. Follow your dreams, some of you are going to make it big and I'm really proud and I hope that I'll be there to listen to you guys talk in 20-30 years from now to the next generation and giving them the same words that I'm giving you.
So, congratulations, enjoy it.
(Music) >>From the classroom to the court, you showed why State is a global force.
Your Aztecs went from unranked to undefeated for a 26-game streak this year, crowned as Mountain West Conference champions and ranked in the top four in the nation week after week, after week. The show was unstoppable in their spirit, antics, and dedication.
>>Class of 2020, what's up. Just wanted to say congratulations on your big day and thanks for your support throughout the season. We couldn't have dominated the Mountain West without you, so go on out there, take your best shot, and stay Aztec proud.
>>Hi there, Class of 2020. Bette Boucher here, one of your Aztec Show grandmas.
>>HI everybody, Leila McCoy— your other Show grandma.
Bette and I hope you remain Aztecs For Life.
We are so proud of all of you for all the hard work you've done at SDSU to be graduating today.
My college years gave me a lifetime of memories and I know yours will, too.
We wish nothing for you but health and happiness in your future.
It will sure be fun to see you next basketball season.
Remember, Aztecs strong.
Go Aztecs! >>Hello, I'm Brian Dutcher—head coach of our Mountain West Conference Champion Aztec men's basketball team. I want to personally congratulate the graduating Class of 2020. Like our Aztec team did many times this past season, you have persevered through some challenging times and achieved your victory. You are now a degree holder from San Diego State University, ready for a world full of tremendous opportunity and challenge. All my best as you move forward.
Go Aztecs! >>San Diego State posted the nation's best combined football and men's basketball record this season and also took home hardware for women's soccer and the swimming and diving conference titles. Aztecs Football playing in a bowl game for a record 10th straight season, winning the New Mexico Bowl. And your school spirit will be carried on when the Aztecs play under even brighter lights in the new Aztec Stadium in Mission Valley, thanks in part to a $15 million donation from Mrs. Dianne Bashor. Thanks to you, SDSU and our community is stronger. You got involved and made a difference through leadership, philanthropy, advocacy, and shared governance through A.S., and more than $365,000 was raised at the 6th Annual Dance Marathon for Rady's Children's Hospital, advancing research for treatment.
You took State by storm and when you take on the world, remind them your achievements, contributions, and ambition are unparalleled. You defy expectations.
You are an Aztec For Life.
>>Class of 2020, I am excited and honored to share this moment with you. I am certain this isn't how we envisioned our graduation day, but the thing about us, the Class of 2020, is that our resilience has been and continues to be stronger than our circumstances. This is a celebratory occasion and we should be extremely proud of our accomplishments, and as we celebrate, we must express our heartfelt thank you to our loved ones—the family and friends who have supported and guided us throughout this journey.
This moment would not be possible without your love and encouragement, thank you.
Now, because this is a celebratory occasion, I ask that we reminisce and highlight the special memories that we made here on the Mesa—from doing all-nighters in the library, to eating delicious crunch wraps from Trujillo's, to watching our men's basketball team make history this year. However, we are graduating during a time that feels uneasy. You are concerned with many different factors.
Trying to enter an uncertain job market while dealing with a global pandemic, this is scary. As I stated in the beginning, that strength and resilience that was developed here is going to be tested more than ever before, and instead of trying to suppress any worry or concern you may have, live in it. As you graduate today, you are equipped with the intellectual capacity and emotional wherewithal to get through this. SDSU taught me that you have to take what life gives you and make it. A young boy coming from southeast San Diego from a single mother, low-income household, life was not giving me the perfect hand.
I worked hard to get to San Diego State, and when I got here, not everything went my way. I lost out on opportunities I wish I had taken advantage of and I had failures, but through it all, I kept going. We all have had our own challenges but we kept going. We are the embodiment of SDSU.
SDSU is strong. SDSU is resilient, and we are SDSU. San Diego State will always be home and we take home with us every step of our life journey.
Congratulations, graduates. And now, at this time, I would like to ask my fellow bachelor's degree candidates to please join me in marking this very important moment. It's time to move our tassel, so no matter where you are, please stand up and embrace this moment. Even if you're not wearing your cap, it is the time to give a high-five and a virtual hug to everybody who's here celebrating with you today. On the count of three, we're gonna move our tassel from the right side to the left side, all right? We'll do this together. One, two, three... Congratulations, Class of 2020, and Go Aztecs! (SDSU Fight Song)