Graduates honored at Fresno State as commencement ceremonies return to Save Mart Center

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Fresno State commencement ceremonies returned to the Save Mart Center arena on Friday, with university President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval presiding over events for the nearly 6,000 students graduating from the university’s eight schools and colleges in 2022.

It was the first time in two years the ceremonies have been inside at the arena.

There were no commencement ceremonies in 2020 because of the COVID pandemic and last year’s ceremonies (for the combined classes of 2020 and 2021) were held outdoors at Bulldog Stadium.

Six of the university’s schools and colleges held commencement ceremonies on Friday, including the College of Arts and Humanities.

The college, which offers degrees in linguistics and languages, arts and designs, theater dance, music, philosophy and more, conferred two honorary degrees during the ceremonies. One was given to acclaimed artist Judy Chicago, who created the Feminist Art Program at Fresno State in the 1970s. The other was given to Antonio “Tony” Petrosino, who taught Fresno State’s first Italian language courses in the 1960s and worked at Fresno Unified for more than 40 years.

The remaining commencements scheduled for Saturday and include the school’s various “affinity” group celebrations, such as Chicano Latino, African American, Asian American and Pacific Islander, College Assistance Migrant Program and the Rainbow Graduation. There are no tickets needed to attend the ceremonies and parking is free at the Save Mart Center and surrounding lots, the university said.

Siena Simas, center, from the Department of Theatre and Dance takes her seat at Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities commencement exercise Friday, May 20, 2022 in Fresno.
Siena Simas, center, from the Department of Theatre and Dance takes her seat at Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities commencement exercise Friday, May 20, 2022 in Fresno.

Class of 2022 by the numbers

There were 5,077 students who received baccalaureate degrees in the summer or fall of 2021, or are pending final review in spring 2022, according to a release from the university. More than 900 received post-baccalaureate degrees (either in summer or fall 2021 or pending final review).

According to the university, a majority of the graduated (63.0%) are first-generation students whose parents don’t have bachelor’s degrees.

In the doctoral programs, 38 students will receive doctorates in physical therapy; another 43 in educational leadership.

The College of Health and Human Services is graduating the largest number of students in 2022, with 1,044 graduates. That’s followed by the College of Social Sciences (965), College of Science and Mathematics (947), Kremen School of Education and Human Development (845) and Craig School of Business (788).

The school’s top five majors for the years are: psychology (with 554 graduates); criminology (472); liberal studies (452).; kinesiology (269); and management (190).

Graduates from Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities commencement move their tassels to the opposite side neat the end of the ceremony Friday, May 20, 2022 in Fresno.
Graduates from Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities commencement move their tassels to the opposite side neat the end of the ceremony Friday, May 20, 2022 in Fresno.
Siena Simas, center, from the Department of Theatre and Dance takes her seat at Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities commencement exercise Friday, May 20, 2022 in Fresno.
Siena Simas, center, from the Department of Theatre and Dance takes her seat at Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities commencement exercise Friday, May 20, 2022 in Fresno.
About 450 students from Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities gather for the commencement exercise Friday, May 20, 2022 in Fresno.
About 450 students from Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities gather for the commencement exercise Friday, May 20, 2022 in Fresno.
Students make their way to the stage during the College of Arts and Humanities commencement exercise for Fresno State Friday, May 20, 2022 in Fresno.
Students make their way to the stage during the College of Arts and Humanities commencement exercise for Fresno State Friday, May 20, 2022 in Fresno.
Siena Simas, center, poses as she and four hundred and fifty students gathered for Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities commencement exercise Friday, May 20, 2022 in Fresno.
Siena Simas, center, poses as she and four hundred and fifty students gathered for Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities commencement exercise Friday, May 20, 2022 in Fresno.
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