“As I preside over my first CalSouthern Commencement, I am in awe of what you have already accomplished – and the great things you will inevitably do in the future. You inspire us all.”
With those words, Glenn R. Roquemore, PhD, president of California Southern University, opened the 42nd Annual CalSouthern Commencement Ceremony – the first in school history to be held virtually. Designed to allow CalSouthern’s newest graduates to celebrate in real-time with family, friends, faculty, and staff despite the coronavirus, the August 7 online ceremony offered many of the same tributes, acknowledgements and motivations for the future as past in-person celebrations.
Dr. Roquemore honored 2020 graduates for their hard work and perseverance in the face of not only routine life challenges and demands but also a global pandemic, which he said has made everything outside of school considerably more difficult. “Completing a degree during the coronavirus is just the start of why the Class of 2020 is so special – and why CalSouthern is different from other universities.”
Graduates were treated to keynote remarks by Larry Broughton, founder and CEO of Broughton Hotels, and a recognized expert on motivating audiences toward their gifts and greatness. With passion, Broughton encouraged the graduating class to live a life of intentionality by using the same courage, grit and tenacity it took to complete their degrees to make their mark in the world.
“Show up in your career, show up in your relationships and show up in your life like it really matters – because it really does,” Broughton said. “The truth is if you want to do great things, you need to be a great person – a person of strong moral character who serves others and helps family, friends and coworkers achieve their goals. With your degree from CalSouthern, you are poised to do these great things.”
Bonny Nickle, EdD, CalSouthern’s vice president of instruction and accreditation liaison officer, then introduced this year’s 129 degrees after acknowledging 2020 graduates as uniquely prepared for the task of restarting the economy post-pandemic and changing the world. Deans and department chairs from CalSouthern’s six schools presented their graduates and highlighted specific student achievements. Instead of participating in a traditional walk to receive their degrees, graduates were represented by a personalized slide featuring their photo, degree earned, relevant honors, and any personalized messages they provided.
In closing, President Roquemore officially granted CalSouthern’s newest degrees and invited graduates to walk in the 2021 Commencement Ceremony. “While you may have been a CalSouthern learner for just a few years, you will be a California Southern University graduate and alumnus for life.”
To all 2020 California Southern University graduates, congratulations and welcome to the CalSouthern alumni family!
To view the 2020 CalSouthern Commencement Ceremony in its entirety, visit: www.calsouthern.edu/commencement