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CSUSB Association To Hold Annual Black Graduation

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The Black Faculty, Staff and Student Association at Cal State San Bernardino will present its 18th annual Black Graduation recognition ceremony on Saturday, June 4, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the university’s Coussoulis Arena.

Students who are eligible to graduate in spring 2011 commencement may participate in Black Graduation. About 100 graduates have already registered for the event. The cost is $50 for participants through June 3.

Black Graduation is a cultural celebration that includes guest speakers and entertainers to honor the graduates and their families.

Graduates will wear their graduation caps and gowns and will be presented with symbolic Kente stoles. Guests are invited to wear traditional African cultural clothing. The ceremony is open to the public and parking is free.

Master of ceremonies will be Mark Hartley, director of the university’s Student Leadership and Development office.

The keynote speaker will be CSUSB alumna Jenise Earl-Bush, who is an educational administrator for the Rialto Unified School district. With more than 13 years in education, she has served as a teacher, counselor and administrator.

Earl-Bush received both her bachelor’s (sociology) and master’s (educational counseling) degrees at CSUSB, as well as two credentials, one in pupil personnel services and one in administration. She is currently pursuing an education doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of La Verne.

As a CSUSB undergraduate student, Earl-Bush served as president of the African Student Alliance and the Rho Delta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She is also a cofounder of the CSUSB Black Graduation (formerly called the African American student recognition ceremony).

This year’s theme is “Still, I Rise.” Jeremy Vasquez, a graduating senior and former ASI president, will address his classmates in a keynote address.

Michael Wakes, a graduating student and this year’s winner of Associated Students Inc.’s Mr. CSUSB Pageant, will sing "Lift Every Voice and Sing," which is also known as the Black National Anthem.

During the ceremony, the San Bernardino Pacesetters drum line will usher in the students, and CSUSB’s University Dance Company will perform an African dance.

Other CSUSB clubs and organizations recognizing specific cultural groups are the Association of Latino Faculty, Staff and Students which will hold its Fifth Annual Latino Graduation Day ceremony on Saturday, June 4, at 2:30 p.m. in Coussoulis Arena and the Asian Faculty, Staff and Students Association, which held its celebration on May 19 in the Obershaw Dining Room.

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