‘True Original’ alumni return for UC Santa Cruz 2015 commencement ceremonies

commencement scene
An enthusiastic relative spots a soon-to-be graduate about to participate in Kresge College's 2014 commencement celebrations. (Photo by Rob Knight)

Several distinguished alumni – all True Originals – will return to campus as UC Santa Cruz holds commencement ceremonies during this 50th anniversary year for 10 colleges, graduate division, and Baskin School of Engineering, Friday, June 12, through Sunday, June 14.

In addition, nearly two dozen other less formal celebrations are planned throughout the weekend by academic departments and affinity groups beginning Thursday, June 11.

Complete details about commencement times and locations may be found at commencement.ucsc.edu. Grads and their guests can share photos from commencement weekend on social media by using the #ucscalumni hashtag. We'll post the photos on the UCSC alumni website.

A total of 4,087 undergraduates are expected to receive bachelor’s degrees for work completed in the arts, engineering, humanities, physical and biological sciences, and social sciences during the 2014-2015 academic year, including summer, fall, winter, spring quarters. College officials expect more than 2,600 students to participate in commencement ceremonies.

In the graduate division, 77 doctoral degrees have been awarded for summer, fall, and winter; another 99 candidates have applied for spring Ph.D. degrees. Also, earlier in the year, 188 masters degrees were awarded, and 115 candidates have applied for a spring degree.

In UCSC’s education department, 66 students are scheduled to complete the combined 12-month teaching credential and master's degree program in late summer. A small number of students will receive graduate certificates in other fields.

One hundred seventy five students are expected to participate in graduate commencement this year, Friday, June 12, beginning at 4 p.m. on the East Field.

Commencement speakers

Commencement speakers for 2015 celebrations include exceptional alumni who have made their marks on the world since they graduated from UC Santa Cruz. Included are journalists and writers, lawyers and public policy makers, historians, a computer engineer, scholars, an environmental advocate, and advertising executive.

NPR science correspondent Joe Palca, who received his Ph.D. in psychology at UC Santa Cruz in 1982, is the scheduled graduate commencement speaker.

Pulitzer Prize winners Martha Mendoza, (Kresge, ’88, individual major), and Héctor Tobar (Oakes, ’88, Latin American Latino studies and sociology), will speak at Kresge and College Nine commencements Saturday and Sunday respectively.

John Laird, (Stevenson, ’72, politics), California’s Secretary for Natural Resources, is scheduled to speak at Cowell College, Saturday afternoon.

Julia Sweig, (Porter ’86, Latin American studies) historian and scholar on Latin America, is set to speak at Porter College on Saturday.

James Edmund Datri, (Stevenson ’89, history), president and CEO of the American Advertising Federation, will speak at Stevenson on Sunday afternoon.

Azadeh Moaveni, (Oakes, ’98, politics) author, journalist, and Timemagazine, contributing writer, will speak at Oakes College, Saturday afternoon

Siegmund Gutman, (Crown ’90, biochemistry and molecular biology), chair of the Life Sciences Patent Practice at Proskauer Law Firm, is Crown College’s speaker, Sunday morning.

Cynthia Chase, (Merrill, ’01, psychology), non-profit director and Santa Cruz City Councilmember, is Merrill College’s speaker, Saturday morning.

Sheila Davis, (Oakes, '02, American studies), executive director of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, is set to speak at College Eight, Saturday afternoon.

Bev Crair, (Stevenson, ’83, computer science and mathematics), general manager, storage division at Intel Corp., will speak to engineering graduates at the Baskin School of Engineering ceremony, late Sunday afternoon.

Craig Haney, distinguished UC Santa Cruz professor of psychology and legal studies, is scheduled as College 10’s speaker, Sunday afternoon.

More details on scheduled commencement speakers is available at https://events.ucsc.edu/event/2735