Graduation ceremonies set to commence
Olympian Jonny Moseley to speak at convocation

By Kathy Scalise

09 May 2002 | Three weeks of graduation ceremonies are about to begin, with Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley scheduled to speak Friday, May 17, at Commencement Convocation. The 4 p.m. event at the Greek Theatre will honor the estimated 10,000 campus students who became eligible during the school year for undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The selection by the Class of 2002 of an Olympian to speak at convocation was a first for Berkeley.

“This class wanted to hear about living a life of commitment to your goals,” said Jason Simon, a California Alumni Association program manager and facilitator for the Californians, the student committee that plans convocation. “To them, a gold medalist represents the values of working hard, overcoming obstacles and striving to be the best at what you do.”

Moseley, 26, is a 1998 Olympic gold medalist and 1998 World Cup Champion in the moguls event, as well as a two-time World Cup overall champion. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he was raised in Tiburon, Calif., and has been skiing since age 4.

About 6,000 Berkeley students will graduate this month; the rest earned degrees during the summer and fall of 2001. The campus will have awarded roughly 6,500 bachelor’s degrees this school year; the remainder are graduate degrees.

No diplomas will be awarded at Commencement Convocation. Instead, degrees are conferred at individual ceremonies held from May 4 to 31 by some 50 schools, colleges and departments on campus.

In addition to Moseley’s speech, the May 17 convocation will include an address by the top graduating senior, Shayna Parekh, who will receive this year’s University Medal for her academic record and future goals in the field of international studies.

Also speaking at this year’s convocation is Allison Olson, who delivered remarks in 1952, 50 years ago, when graduating from Berkeley. Now a history professor at the University of Maryland, Olson will reflect on her years at Cal and share her wisdom with the Class of 2002.

At some of the campus’s individual commencement ceremonies in May, nationally known speakers are scheduled to address graduates. They include:

Berkeley economics professor George Akerlof, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics, addressing graduating students in economics at 3 p.m., Thurs-day, May 16.

Author and attorney Scott Turow, speaking to law school graduates at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 25.

Steve McCormick, president and chief executive officer of the Nature Conservancy, speaking at the College of Natural Resources at 10 a.m., Sunday, May 26.

Following convocation on May 17, the senior class will announce which campus project will receive the senior class gift, which, at $43,000 and rising, is the largest ever contributed by a Berkeley graduating class. “Over 20 percent of the class has given, which, given the size of the Berkeley class, is a huge number of people,” said Jennifer Kitt, assistant director of parent and student development.

Kitt said that while the total sum is not enormous in itself, it reflects many small gifts — $5, $10, $20 — from those who have little but are still sharing with others. “This is about learning to give,” Kitt said. “If the campus really wanted to raise $40,000, we would go ask one or two people. But this is about teaching philanthropy.”

The class will announce at the chancellor’s reception following convocation which of three selected campus projects will receive those funds. In the running are a Sept. 11 Memorial Scholarship to help needy undergraduates study international issues; renovation of the Campanile esplanade, to include benches and a plaque honoring those on campus who died Sept. 11; or updating technology and renovating a study room in the Moffitt Undergraduate Library.


Listing of individual graduation ceremonies


Home | Search | Archive | About | Contact | More News

Copyright 2002, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.

Comments? E-mail