Alert: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

CSUB Class of 2017: Largest Graduating Class Ever

California State University, Bakersfield expects record participation from students and guests for its 47th annual commencement with two undergraduate ceremonies Friday, May 19, and a Graduate and Hooding Ceremony Thursday, May 18. Students applying for graduation include 1,973 undergraduates and 442 master’s degree candidates for a total of 2,415.

“The Class of 2017 is the University’s largest graduating class ever,” said CSUB President Dr.  Horace Mitchell.  “It is a result of the strong academic performance and determination of our students, with assistance and support from our outstanding faculty and staff in advancing student success and graduation.  It also is an outcome of our ongoing collaborations with the Kern High School District, the Kern Community College District and other partners to increase educational attainment in our community.  Many of these graduates will be entering masters and doctoral programs in the fall, while others will begin career positions locally which will add to the well-educated workforce needed to support our regional economic development and enhance the quality of life in our community.”

The Ceremonies

CSUB will hold two undergraduate commencement ceremonies on May 19 at the Main Soccer Field:

  • A ceremony for graduates in the Schools of Arts and Humanities; Business and Public Administration; and Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering will start at 7 a.m.  Guests may enter the Main Soccer Field at 5:30 a.m. A total of 914 students have registered to participate in this ceremony.
  • A ceremony for graduates in the School of Social Sciences and Education will begin at noon.  Guests may enter the Main Soccer Field at 10:30 a.m. for the noon ceremony. A total of 619 students have registered to participate in this ceremony.

Guests who prefer indoor seating may view the ceremonies on a large video board in the Icardo Center.  The video board will show each student while on stage and will contain graphics with the student’s name and major. In a first for the University, guests unable to attend in person may enjoy the ceremonies remotely via Livestream at

A reception will be held at the Student Recreation Center immediately following each ceremony. At the reception, graduates and guests will have opportunity to interact and take photos with President Mitchell, administrators, faculty, classmates, and families.

CSUB will hood master’s and doctoral degree candidates during the Graduate and Hooding Ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 18, in the Icardo Center.  Guests may to enter the Icardo Center starting at 4:30 p.m.  

The Speakers

CSUB President Horace Mitchell will speak at the undergraduate ceremonies. President Mitchell has led the University for the past 13 years. At the 7 a.m. ceremony, he will award an honorary degree, the CSU’s highest recognition, to former Bakersfield Mayor Harvey L. Hall, founder and CEO of Hall Ambulance, Inc. Hall will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters for his eminence and pioneering leadership in the field of emergency medical response and transportation and his distinguished service to the community and CSUB.  Hall previously received the President’s Award and the School of Business and Public Administration’s John Brock Community Service Award.

CSUB alumnus and CSU Alumni Trustee John Nilon will keynote the Graduate and Hooding Ceremony. Nilon is the retired Administrative Officer for Kern County. He has served on the CSUB Foundation Board of Directors, is a past president of the CSUB Alumni Association, adjunct professor, and is a CSU Bakersfield Alumni Hall of Fame inductee.

Traffic/Parking Instructions

Due to the large crowds expected to attend the undergraduate ceremonies, traffic controls and road closures will be in place on and around the CSUB campus. On Friday, May 19, Camino Media will be closed to thru traffic starting at 5 a.m. at Haggin Oaks Boulevard and Scarlet Oak and will be open only for commencement traffic and parking. Traffic controls will be in place on Stockdale Highway both before and after the ceremonies. At the conclusion of each ceremony, additional traffic controls will be established at Gosford Road and Kroll Way. 

Guests are encouraged to carpool with family and friends, as parking will be limited to 7,000 spaces. Guests may enter through any entrance of the campus. As lots are filled, cars will be routed to open areas of campus or areas nearby. Faculty and staff also are encouraged to carpool and park in Lots F and G.

Golden Empire Transit and CSUB buses will provide shuttle services from the north and west sides of campus to the main venue on the south side of campus. Each stop will be color coded for ease of guests remembering where they parked after the ceremonies.  

Disabled Parking

Parking is available in Lot I for guests with disabilities. Enter campus from the east via Camino Media onto Roadrunner Drive. The lot is on the right as drivers enter campus. Wheelchair-accessible golf carts will be available to transport persons with disabilities to the soccer field.

For the Graduate and Hooding Ceremony at the Icardo Center on Thursday, May 18, parking will be available in Lots H and I. There will be no road closures.

Guests are asked to visit for more information and commencement protocol, including items that will be allowed or disallowed at the ceremonies. All bags will be checked before entering venues. No weapons are allowed on the CSUB campus, except for law enforcement officers.

Media interested in covering the 2017 commencement ceremonies should contact Michael Lukens, director of Public Affairs and Communications, at (661) 654-3526. 

For Media Requests

Contact CSUB Public Affairs
(661) 654-2136