Approximately 3,800 undergraduate and 300 graduate students will participate in California State University, Chico’s 128th Commencement this week, starting Tuesday, May 15, and continuing through Sunday, May 20.
Additionally, University partner and business leader Dennis P. Murphy (Civil Engineering, ’94) will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during Commencement ceremonies Saturday morning to recognize his extraordinary ongoing commitment to CSU, Chico and his extensive philanthropic efforts that benefit communities throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Following his graduation, Murphy accepted a job with Hayden Homes, an Oregon-based company dedicated to building high-quality residential communities. He was promoted to company president in 1999 and became its CEO in 2015. He has continued to cultivate the positive corporate culture at Hayden Homes, coinciding with abundant growth and financial success. Murphy and Hayden Homes also exemplify compassion, generosity and the entrepreneurial spirit through First Story, a related nonprofit. When Murphy founded First Story in 2001, he set a goal of building one home a year. This year, First Story dedicated its 68th new home for disadvantaged families.
Murphy has also made significant gifts to CSU, Chico’s Departments of Civil Engineering and Construction Management, including an endowed scholarship in his name and an endowed professorship in his and Hayden Homes’ name. Murphy is the 19th honorary degree recipient in the University’s 131-year history.
Master’s degree recipients will participate in one of two Commencement ceremonies Thursday, May 17, at Laxson Auditorium. Exercises start at 4:30 p.m. with the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and psychology major Kevin A. Click serving as the student speaker. The Colleges of Humanities and Fine Arts, Natural Sciences, Business, Communication and Education, and Engineering, Computer Science and Construction Management will follow at 7:30 p.m., with communication studies major Erika Anderson providing student reflections. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to the ceremony.
Bachelor’s degree ceremonies will begin Friday, May 18, with Commencement for the College of Agriculture at 4:30 p.m. in Laxson Auditorium. Holly Hockett, an agriculture major, will be the student speaker. Master’s degrees in the College of Agriculture will also be presented at this ceremony.
Later that evening, the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences will hold its ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. in University Stadium. Student reflections will be given by sociology major Maikhou Thao.
On Saturday, undergraduates in the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management will begin Commencement at 8:30 a.m. in University Stadium. Jonathan Gurrola, a nursing major, will speak. Later on Saturday, Commencement for the College of Communication and Education will start at 7 p.m. in University Stadium. Becca Chanes, an exercise physiology major, will provide student reflections.
Commencement for the College of Business and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts will begin at 8:30 a.m. Sunday in University Stadium. Business information systems student Elizabeth Konecny will speak.
In addition, there are many other graduation events, including the first-ever Native American Celebration on Tuesday, May 15; the Veteran Graduation Celebration on Wednesday, May 16; the School of Nursing Pinning on Friday, May 18; and a number of other special celebrations. All of the events, which take place rain or shine, are also listed at www.csuchico.edu/commencement/schedule/commencement-schedule.shtml.
Graduating students can receive up to seven tickets, only for the Commencement ceremonies in University Stadium. An additional two tickets were opened up for each student (except for the College of Agriculture) on a first-come-first-served basis. Friday’s undergraduate ceremony is sold out. Ticket information is available at www.csuchico.edu/commencement/important-info/ticket-information.shtml. To accommodate everyone who wishes to watch Commencement live, the ceremonies will be streamed for remote viewing on computers and mobile devices at www.csuchico.edu/stream, where a live-captioned version is also available.
Graduates, their friends and families are encouraged to share commencement festivities on social media with #Chico2018. Students and their guests are also asked to adhere to responsible behavior expectations outlined in this year’s Graduate then Celebrate campaign.
Several restrictions will be in place that will affect Commencement attendees and others driving in the campus area over the weekend:
- Guests may enter University Stadium one hour prior to start time. Guests may enter 30 minutes prior for ceremonies in Laxson Auditorium. If you drive to campus, allow extra time for traffic and parking.
- Friday evening through Sunday, the parking lot at the corner of College Drive and Warner Street is reserved for people with accessibility needs. An accessibility placard is not required, but visitors will be stopped by University Police to confirm they need accommodations.
- On Friday, entry to the Health Center and Stadium parking lots will be restricted after 3 p.m. due to the evening Commencement. The only vehicles that will be allowed to enter these parking lots will be Health Center patients and staff, Commencement-related vendors and staff, and ceremony attendees with mobility-related disabilities.
- All other University lots will be available for visitors Friday evening through Sunday for Commencement parking, including the parking lot at Warner Street and West Sacramento Avenue, and the University lot at Third and Orange streets. A University parking lot map is available at www.csuchico.edu/fms/_assets/floor-plan-pdfs/Lot-zone.pdf. Parking permits will not be required.
- Vehicles exiting the Health Center or Stadium parking lots after 3 p.m. on Friday will need to exit via the gate that leads to West Sacramento Avenue; signage and University Police staff will help direct drivers to that gate.
- It has come to the University’s attention that tickets for the ceremonies are being sold on third-party sites such as Craigslist, Facebook, etc. Please be advised that selling free tickets for any price is illegal (CA Penal Code § 346), and tickets purchased through these channels may not be valid. Commencement tickets are only good for one entry to University Stadium or Laxson Auditorium. Each ticket has a unique barcode that, once scanned at the entrance, cannot be scanned a second time for entry. This means if someone purchases a ticket that has been reproduced or photocopied, and another person uses a ticket with the same barcode for entry, the second entrant will be denied entry to the stadium or auditorium.
- Persons with accessibility concerns should contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959. For other parking questions, contact University Police at 530-898-5555.