About 70 California State University, Dominguez Hills alumni returned to the university to participate in the 2012 Commencement exercises Friday, May 18. After reminiscing and celebrating with cake during a private pre-reception held in their honor, the attending alumni, in full regalia, led the procession of soon-to-be graduates of the College of Business Administration and Public Policy into The Home Depot Center Tennis Stadium.
For Frankie Stewart (Class of ’83, B.A., sociology; ’86, M.S., behavioral science), the alumni processional is a not-to-miss event that helps her recapture the feeling of being in college.
“Academia is near and dear to my heart. Every September I agonize that I’m not in school,” said Stewart, a retired Kaiser Permanente administrator, who was participating in her fifth alumni processional. “This is a chance for me to get some of that feeling back.”
The reception beforehand offered a chance for alumni to visit with the commencement platform party. Stewart said she enjoyed meeting university administrators and college deans and was glad to be able to personally thank University President Mildred García for her service and accomplishments.
Gayle Ball-Parker (Class of ’78, B.A., psychology), director of Alumni and Family Programs, said having the alumni participate in commencement is a way to show new graduates that they can continue to be a part of the university. It also serves as one of the ways the university reaches out to alumni and keep them engaged.
“This is an excellent opportunity for us to connect with and recognize those alumni who are active and, through their generous support, provide continuous opportunities for students,” she said.
Alumni were able to reconnect with each other at the event as well as make new “Toro” connections.
Diane Markham (Class of ’86, B.S., business management) said she made new friends at the alumni reception and it was interesting to see how the campus had evolved, including the addition of the adjacent Home Depot Center, which wasn’t there when she was a student.
“This has given me new awakening for being connected with the campus. Because I am an alumna of the school, it puts me more in touch and shows me how I can make a contribution for the future,” Markham, who is a paralegal, said of the alumni event. “I have always prided myself with going back to school, going to [CSU] Dominguez Hills and having graduated. The keyword is pride. But now, this kicks it up a notch—having been given an opportunity to participate in the alumni processional.”
She added that from the moment she received the invitation in the mail to “…being down in that tunnel area waiting to come out, looking out at all those people—it was definitely an adrenalin rush experience. I’m already excited to do it again next year.”
Stewart echoed that sentiment and when asked if she enjoyed wearing regalia again, she said, “Oh, heck yeah. It’s so empowering and fulfilling. …it’s just exhilarating.”
Becoming a part of the CSU Dominguez Hills Alumni Association is free and offers members discounts on auto, home and renters insurance, medical insurance benefits, university events, and purchases made at the University Bookstore, as well as providing access to the CSU Dominguez Hills career services and to all 23 CSU campus libraries.
For more information about contributing and becoming involved visit the Alumni Association website or call (310) 243-2237.
For more photos of the alumni processional and pre-reception, CLICK HERE.