Class of 2007 makes it official in weekend commencement exercises

Graduate students celebrate their new status after their Friday ceremony. (Photos: Carolyn Lagattuta)
Graduate student Mrinal Sinha gets a hug from Jamie Franco.

The campus was a sea of celebration over the weekend--with some pomp and circumstance for good measure--as the Class of 2007 graduated.

Commencement exercises were hosted by UCSC's 10 colleges, as well as the Graduate Division and the School of Engineering. A number of less formal celebrations, beginning June 14, also honored the graduates.

The Graduate Division ceremony began graduation weekend with a Friday afternoon ceremony. Ceremonies were held throughout Saturday and Sunday, concluding with the Baskin School of Engineering graduation late Sunday afternoon.

Five returning alumni served as keynote commencement speakers:

* Joseph DeRisi (B.S., biochemistry and molecular biology, '92), an associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UC San Francisco whose work led to the identification of the SARS virus, spoke at the Kresge College commencement;

* Ted Goldstein (B.A., computer and information sciences, '83), vice president of software at biotech startup Theranos, and formerly vice president of development technologies at Apple Computer, gave the commencement address for the Jack Baskin School of Engineering;

* John Laird (B.A., politics, '72), a California assemblymember whose district includes Santa Cruz County, was the featured speaker at Stevenson College's commencement;

* Marti Noxon (B.A., theater arts, '87), who writes for TV and film and was the creative producer of the popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, was the speaker at the Crown College commencement;

* Aaron Velasco (Ph.D., Earth sciences, '93) an associate professor of geological sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso and current president of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, was the featured speaker at the Graduate Division commencement.