CSUB Will Graduate a Record Number This Year

California State University, Bakersfield will celebrate two defining moments in the history of the University next week during commencement ceremonies: the highest number of graduates ever, and the first class of CSUB doctoral graduates. 

“I am so incredibly honored to be here at this golden time in the history of CSUB,” said President Lynnette Zelezny. “Commencement is the most joyous day on the calendar for everyone on campus, but this year holds even greater meaning for me because it is my first at CSUB. What a wonderful time to be a ’Runner!”

The University will award 2,312 bachelor’s degrees for the 2018-19 academic year, a 28 percent increase over the 1,806 undergraduate degrees awarded last year. Some 1,708 students have registered to participate in the 49th Annual Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Wednesday, May 22.

The annual Graduate Hooding Ceremony for the 348 graduate students who have registered to participate will take place on Wednesday, May 22. A total of 462 graduate degrees will be awarded this academic year, including 11 doctoral degrees in educational leadership.

“This inaugural class of doctoral graduates is a turning point, not just for CSUB but for the region we serve,” Dr. Zelezny said. “Many of the graduates of our educational leadership program have been able to pursue the most advanced degree in their profession while remaining right here in Kern County classrooms, providing a compelling example of what is possible to their students.”

President Zelezny continued:

“We use a word at CSUB that both inspires and challenges us: Rise. There is no better expression of the power of that word than during commencement. Join us as we honor the hardest-working students in the Valley.”

Undergraduate Ceremony

The public is welcome to both graduation ceremonies, and tickets are not required.

The undergraduate ceremony will be held at 7:30 a.m. Friday, May 24, at the CSUB Main Soccer Field, which has a guest seating capacity of 11,500. Should additional seating be required, designated overflow areas will accommodate nearly 6,000. The ceremony will be livestreamed at https://www.csub.edu/commencement/live/.

Gates will open at 5:30 a.m., and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests will be seated by security and staff. Saving seats will not be allowed. All persons and their bags are subject to search before entry.

In honor of our commitment to conservation and sustainability, the ceremony program will be printed for graduates only but will be available on the commencement website for guests. The ceremony agenda will be available on the CSUB mobile app. Guests are encouraged to download the mobile app for up-to-date information, including prohibited items.

A reception for graduates and their families and friends will be held immediately following the ceremony inside the Student Reception Center Gym. At the reception, graduates and guests will have an opportunity to socialize and take photos with President Zelezny, administrators, faculty, classmates, and families. Light refreshments will be provided.

A high point of the undergraduate ceremony will be the bestowing of honorary doctorate degrees by President Zelezny. Joining the esteemed ranks of past honorees who have contributed to the character and achievement of our region and nation are Mr. Jon Van Boening, CSUB alumnus and senior vice president of operations for Dignity Health’s Central California Area, and Ms. Jane Elliott, champion of social justice.

“As the highest award conferred by CSUB, the honorary doctorate is our opportunity to recognize and share with the world our appreciation and gratitude to remarkable individuals who have made a difference in the lives of so many,” President Zelezny said.

Graduate Hooding Ceremony

CSUB will hood master’s and doctoral degree graduates and candidates during the Graduate Hooding Ceremony at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, on the CSUB Main Soccer Field.  A total of 348 students have registered to participate. No tickets are required for the ceremony. Gates will open at 4 p.m.

A reception for the graduates and their guests will immediately follow the ceremony inside the Main Soccer Field. Light refreshments will be provided.


Due to the high number of guests expected to attend the undergraduate ceremony, traffic controls and road closures will be in place on and around the CSUB campus.

On Friday, May 24, Camino Media at Haggin Oaks Boulevard and Scarlet Oak will be closed to through traffic, and open only for commencement traffic and parking, starting at 5 a.m. Traffic controls will be in place on Stockdale Highway both before and after the ceremony. At the conclusion of the 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 are encouraged to carpool and park in Lots F and G.

Golden Empire Transit and CSUB buses will provide shuttle service from the north and west sides of campus to the main venue on the south side of campus. Each stop will be color coded to help guests remember their parking location.

For the graduate hooding ceremony, parking will be available in Lots H and I. There will be no road closures.

The south-side parking lots of The Marketplace are not available for commencement parking.

No permit is required for both the undergraduate and graduate ceremonies.

Parking for guests with disabilities

For the undergraduate ceremony, 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 hooding ceremony at the Main Soccer Field on Wednesday, May 22, parking will be available in Lots H and I.

Seating for guests with disabilities

At both ceremonies, seating for persons who have limited mobility is available at the southwest entrance.  Wheelchair-accessible seating is limited and cannot be reserved.  One attendant for a guest with a disability will be allowed in the designated seating area.

For questions, CSUB students may call Services for Students with Disabilities at (661) 654-3360 or TDD (661) 654-6288 or at www.csub.edu/ssd/. Office hours are 8 a.m.to 5 p.m.

Guests may email commencement@csub.edu or call (661) 654-6034 for questions about accessible seating.

Prohibited items

Only transparent (see-through) bags will be allowed into the venue for the safety of all attendees, staff and faculty. Guests entering the venue will be screened by security.

To make commencement a pleasant experience for all guests and participants, the following items are prohibited:

  • Purses, backpacks, bags
  • Umbrellas
  • Air horns
  • Signs
  • Balloons
  • Beach balls
  • Outside food (exceptions for infants, small children or individuals with medical needs)
  • Tripods
  • Alcohol
  • Glass bottles and cans
  • Fireworks
  • Firearms/weapons
  • Tobacco products (CSUB is a non-smoking campus; plan accordingly)

For more information on commencement, please visit www.csub.edu/commencement/.

Media interested in covering the 2019 commencement ceremonies should contact Jennifer Self, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, at (661) 654-3526.

For Media Requests

Contact CSUB Public Affairs
(661) 654-2136