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2022 graduations: CSULB kicks off commencement ceremonies at Angel Stadium

Cal State Long Beach’s end-of-the-school-year celebrations got underway at Angel Stadium on Monday, May 16 — and marking an historic milestone for the university.

CSULB will honor nearly 12,000 graduates across multiple commencement ceremonies this week. That makes it the largest graduating class in CSULB’s history, the university has said.

The university opened in 1949.

The commencement ceremonies began Monday morning with the College of Engineering. The colleges of Education and Liberal Arts also took place on Monday.

For the second consecutive year, however, the graduations are taking place at Angel Stadium and without the traditional rite of students walking across a stage to receive their diplomas as their names are called.

Instead, graduates must wait until after the official ceremonies. Smaller stages are set up outside the stadium, in Anaheim, on which the students can pose for photos as their names are announced.

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That quirk was added last year because of the coronavirus pandemic — after the 2020 commencement ceremonies were canceled outright — and the need to limit how many people were in the stadium.

The move to once again hold the ceremonies without the traditional stage-walking angered some students, who criticized CSULB with taking away an important part of the celebrations.

CSULB officials, when announcing the format in January, said they wanted to be prudent given the realities of the pandemic — with the region and country, at the time, enduring another winter surge.

This year, though, CSULB is allowing up to 10 guests per graduate inside the stadium. Last year, friends and family had to watch from giant television screens in the parking lot.

CSULB officials have also expressed excitement about repeating what they said were successful 2021 commencement ceremonies at Angel Stadium.

“With a historic graduating class size, the university is excited to build off last year’s Beach takeover of the Angel Stadium of Anaheim,” CSULB said in a press release. “The in-person ceremony is designed to fill and empty the entire stadium seven times over two and a half days.”

It would have been difficult to see any trace of the pandemic’s lingering consequences during Monday’s ceremonies.

There were no masks. Students sat shoulder-to-shoulder. They hugged each other and crowded together for selfies.

Families and parents cheered from the stands, and then met their graduates outside the stadium to take pictures on the smaller stages.

The colleges of Arts, Natural Sciences & Mathematics, and Business will hold their commencement ceremonies on Tuesday, May 17.

The College of Health & Human Services will have its ceremony on Wednesday morning, May 18.

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Source: Orange County Register

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