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Cal State Fullerton Celebrates the Class of 2024: ‘The World Awaits Your Brilliance, Passion and Potential’

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Set to the soundtrack of “Pomp and Circumstance,” Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” and John Williams’ “Throne Room,” Cal State Fullerton’s 2024 Commencement celebrated more than 13,000 Titans in achieving their long-sought goal of earning college degrees.

With 12 ceremonies held May 20-23 at Titan Stadium and the intramural field, the week was filled with elated cheers, happy tears and grads celebrating with families and peers.

Commencement 2024

The Class of 2024 included Outstanding Senior Joshua Bhasera and Outstanding Graduate Student Ryutaro Ichihara, who were recognized by the Alumni Association for their academic achievements and dedication to community service.

Associated Students Inc. President Maysem Awadalla addressed fellow graduates during the College of Communications commencement ceremony, sharing how the opportunities she had at CSUF shaped her approach to leadership. 

“Climbing the leadership ladder has been a strenuous journey, but it has taught me the importance of never backing down from my core beliefs,” said Awadalla. “In our collaborative environments, we found that diversity of thought was key to unlocking solutions to any problems. Each perspective brought to the table enriched our understanding and challenged us to think beyond our own experiences.

“I believe that this generation of students is extraordinary: We discover ways to persevere through hardships, we stand up for ourselves and we recognize our capability to achieve what was once deemed impossible,” she continued. “I want to thank all of you, the students, who shaped this incredible university.”

Roy Choi, an accomplished restaurateur and co-founder of the famous Korean-Mexican taco truck, Kogi BBQ, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree for his commitment to social justice and innovation in business. 

Speaking at the College of Business and Economics ceremony, Choi ’94 (B.A. philosophy) shared that his time at CSUF helped him find his activist voice. He encouraged students to look for inequities in the business industry and find ways to address them: “You are the future. You can change the world.” 

Tam Nguyen ’05 (MBA), chair of the Cal State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation board of governors, urged graduates to take comfort in knowing that they are entering a workforce filled with more than 300,000 Titans who will help them succeed.

“I encourage you to lean into the best alumni network out there — you will be pleasantly surprised by how many people will connect with you,” he said. “Embrace the spirit of service, lead with integrity and never forget the values that brought you to this moment.

“The world awaits your brilliance, your passion and your potential.”

A first-generation California State University graduate, CSUF President Sylvia Alva noted the magnitude of the moment for students who became the first person in their families to graduate from college. 

“I understand the significance of this moment, not only for yourselves and your families but for generations to come,” she said. “Your achievements are a testament to the hard work and sacrifices of those who came before you, and they serve as an inspiration to all who will follow in your footsteps. 

“For my sisters and me, our CSU education was our golden ticket, and I am confident it will be yours as well.”

Taylor Arrey