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May 5, 2022

SVSU anticipates joyous commencement ceremonies

When Alejandra Fulgencio participates in one of two commencement ceremonies at Saginaw Valley State University on Friday, May 6, she will join the ranks of Cardinal alumni that include her mother and sister.

“I came to SVSU because I grew up here,” said the biology major from Saginaw. “My mom graduated from here herself many years ago and would bring my siblings and me with her to her classes. Being a single mother was difficult for her but through it all, it rooted the idea of college for me very early on. My sister also graduated from here in 2020 so I knew I too would one day walk across the stage.”

Fulgencio’s mother, Lucia Vargas, graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in social work. Her sister, Marcelina Fulgencio, also studied social work, earning her bachelor’s degree in 2020.

Fulgencio is one of more than 900 SVSU students who have registered to participate in the two commencement ceremonies. Nearly 1,080 students are expected to complete degree requirements.

Graduates in the College of Arts & Behavioral Sciences, College of Education and College of Science, Engineering & Technology will participate in commencement exercises at 12:00 p.m. The second ceremony – for graduates of the Carmona College of Business and College of Health & Human Services – begins at 4:30 p.m. Both events will take place in SVSU’s Ryder Center.

In keeping with tradition, President Donald J. Bachand will congratulate each graduate as he or she crosses the stage.
“Our graduates have worked hard to complete their degrees, and Commencement is a truly joyous occasion for them and their families,” said Donald Bachand, SVSU president. “We look forward to celebrating with them.”

During the 4:30 p.m. ceremony, an honorary Doctorate in Nursing Practice degree will be conferred upon Weiju Chen for her decades of work to support nursing and nursing education in China and the longstanding partnership between Jinan University in Guangzhou, China, and Saginaw Valley State University.

Chen serves as the director of the First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, chairman and vice dean of the Nursing College of Jinan University, and president of the Guangdong Province Nursing Association. In 1993 she was appointed to serve as a visiting scholar at SVSU for one year and has since worked tirelessly to support the partnership between Jinan University and SVSU.

SVSU’s Director of Career Services Teresa George is optimistic about the employment prospects for this year’s SVSU graduates.

“SVSU offers degree programs that align with 40 of the high-demand, high-wage careers identified on the Michigan’s Hot 50 list published by the Department of Technology, Management & Budget,” she said. “Our graduates are well-prepared to fill critical jobs in the Great Lakes Bay Region and beyond. The companies we partner with appreciate our alumni for the essential skills they bring to the table – skills like teamwork, communication, critical thinking and problem solving.”

SVSU also will provide a live video-stream of each ceremony.