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More than 2,000 graduates’ names called at the CSUMB commencement

SALIANS, Calif. (KION-TV) – For students at CSUMB, all their hard work is finally paying off. The graduates getting to walk across the stage in-person for the first time today. 

More than 2000 CSUMB students turned their tassels here today.

They missed out on in-person high school graduation ceremonies in 2020 because of Covid-19 restrictions. 

“I feel so amazing we graduated," Katelyn Pierce a graduate said.

Around 12,000 family members and friends of Cal State Monterey Bay's class of 2024 filled the Salinas Sports Complex Saturday morning.

Students say it was emotional day for different reasons. 

"Unfortunately through this process, my dad passed away but I was able to have a really good support system with my stepmom, mom, grandma, fiancé, sister and her fiancé, so it’s been it’s been an incredible journey to be able to have them by my side," Isabel Thompson a graduate said.

“She is amazing, she did it and she’s already preparing herself for medical school, so i’m just in awe of her," mother of Katelyn Pierce said.

In earlier years, commencement was spread over two days but for the first time in nearly a decade, CSUMB held a single unified ceremony. 

“I feel excited, happy, bittersweet," Ashley Salana Perez a graduate said. "I'm so glad that I got to celebrate with all my peers and that I got this far. I almost gave up so i’m thankful i got to complete it.”

The event gave graduating students an opportunity to celebrate surrounded by their classmates, family and friends. 

“These students did not have a graduation four years ago, so this is something really special for them," CSUMB president Vanya Quinones said.

Teachers and administration were happy to honor their students' accomplishments.

“I am so proud of each of our students graduating today, for us this is the proudest moment," Quinones said. "The hard work of our students represents the commitment of our facility to ensure that we fulfill the goals of our students."

Following commencement, there was a festival where graduates and their families gathered to talk, listen to music, eat, and celebrate.

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Briana Mathaw


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