Intimate ceremony spotlights Latino graduates

SF State graduates pose for their families, degrees in hand, during the Noche de La Familia ceremony for Latino students at McKenna Hall. Photo by Erik Verduzco
SF State student Noemi Hernandez hugs her uncle, Juan Torres, after graduating at McKenna Hall. Photo by Erik Verduzco
Dolores Huerta, United Farm Workers co-founder and a special guest, dances with SF State students at the Latino(a) graduation. Photo by Erik Verduzco

Of the 850 Latino students graduating from SF State this spring, a handful of them participated in a small graduation ceremony May 14 at McKenna Theater.

The annual celebration is in its 31st year and aims to provide an intimate ceremony that celebrates both the Latino students on campus as well as their families.

“It’s a lot more personal,” said Claudia Pocasangre, who is receiving her Bachelor’s of Arts in creative writing.

Unlike the larger commencement for the class of 2011, which will take place May 21st, Noche de La Familia allows families to see their sons and daughters cross the stage and accept their diplomas and hear their names and degrees called out.

The ceremony also allows family members who are not fluent in English to a part of the celebration.
The celebration was hosted by La Raza Student Organization and included speeches from District 9 Supervisor David Campos and labor activist Dolores Huerta.