The conclusion of an academic year is marked by beginnings and endings; by celebrations, recognitions, and farewells. Last month's nine Commencement Celebrations were a time of great joy for our graduates, their families and friends, as they moved on to the next phase of their lives. There were over 9,000 degrees awarded this year, the largest number in the history of the university and among the largest number of any school across the nation. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who helped make Commencement special for our graduates and their families.
This time of year also brings celebration and recognition of student, faculty and staff achievements. We recognized these achievements in universitywide events, like the University Achievement Awards and Research Celebration, as well as at the college and department level. And we honored and thanked many faculty and staff who have worked at CSULB for many years at the Faculty Retirement Luncheon and the Staff Service Awards.
These celebrations reflect our mission to graduate students with highly valued degrees. The purpose for each student entering CSULB is to learn, grow, and graduate. Lives are changed by what we do here. As we recognize faculty and staff achievements, we realize how remarkable their work is and the impact it has across the region, state, nation and our world. The reach and scope of this campus is quite extraordinary.
We acknowledge that CSULB, a unique and very affordable institution, has been built on and by people who wanted to do something special – who wanted to make this something more than just another CSU campus.
This has been a difficult and challenging year. Furloughs, reducing admissions, increasing class sizes, and the other impacts of our severe budget realities certainly had an impact on how we did our business this year. But it would be hard for an outsider to see much difference in the results. The dedication of the faculty and staff and the determination of our students made this another memorable year; another year that we moved forward, albeit in smaller steps than we had expected.
Student success will continue to be our top priority. Supporting faculty in teaching and in research and creative activity is essential if we are to graduate students with degrees that are current, high quality and that prepare them for the next phase of their lives.
Thank you for another remarkable year. I look forward to continuing our work together in the upcoming year.