Faith Salinas prepares minutes for boyfriend Benjamin Baker before the Chico State graduation ceremony on Friday, May 19, 2023, in Chico, California. (Jake Hutchison/Enterprise-Record)
CHICO – At 62, Jonathan Johnson is not like many of his peers in the Chico area.
As he said, he decided to do things differently. In the year In 1984, Johnson attended Sacramento State, where he attended for two years before entering the workforce and dropping out. From then on he found success and started his own business, but as the years went by, he realized that he was not done with education.
“All it takes is a scratch,” Johnson said. “I’m 62 years old and it was time to go back and finish this. I was ready to feel comfortable again, and I’m glad I did.”
Johnson said he wanted to be a good role model for his family and children, which helped him come back and pursue a degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing.
“I highly encourage everyone to do it,” Johnson said. “Everything is evolving, and you’re just putting yourself in an uncomfortable position. I was scared at first. But once I got in, I realized I could compete with others.”
If Johnson decides to sell the company, his next step could be retirement, he said.
Excitement, nerves, relief and a strong sense of victory spread through the robed Chico State students Friday morning just minutes before the ceremony began.
Chico State hosted one of many graduations Friday morning, this one especially for the College of Business, a farewell for the class that, like its predecessors, has followed the school throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and its students have to adapt to the many changes that have occurred during their time at the school.
Lupita Aramburo was one of the hundreds who pushed through the hurdles associated with the pandemic, and in her case, she eventually graduated with two bachelor’s degrees.
“It’s been a long journey to get my BS in Business Information Systems with an analytics and supply chain option, so it’s a big day for me,” Aramburo said. “My family is here, my mom, my aunt and my cousin and my soon to be second cousin.”
Aramburo is a returning student who previously worked in the industry. She chose her major for both career opportunities and to further test her prior knowledge.
“I’m a returning student who can work from industry, so I’m a bit of an experienced student,” Aramburo said. “So I worked in supply chain through Covid, so I realized that supply chain is key and it’s in everything we do every day and it can be applied to every industry so I wanted to stick with supply chain, but also to have that experience of web design, data warehousing and language learning, analytics. He wanted to add.
Aramburo said she plans to complete two more courses at Chico State and earn her master’s degree at the University of Alabama in Auburn. She added that her experience going to Chico State has been extremely positive.
“I had a great experience at Chico State,” Aramburo said. “He gave me the tools, knowledge, encouragement and overall faculty support to pursue what I wanted to do to become a full-time college student and have a job on campus.”
Marketing student Benjamin Baker is seen by his girlfriend Faith Salinas before joining the crowd at the edge of the field where the graduates gathered before the ceremony.
“I’m happy to finally be here,” Baker said. “It’s time for me to graduate and get out of here and go down to San Diego for my job.”
Baker will begin his sales career at Green Tech Renewables in Southern California.
“I’m excited to get out there and start a new life, get a good job, meet my friends in San Diego and make money.”
Faculty member Sean Morgan thanked his graduating students as they lined up behind the stadium.
“I used to beat my project management students to any other university in the country,” Morgan said. “They all worked very hard to get here. It was a long road for some and a short road for others. I don’t think the university or the university has been kind to them in the last two or three years and they have done a good job. Each one of them. “
Angela Casler, faculty member of the Department of Management, said the graduates learned a lot from the many struggles they faced in recent years.
“These students have gone through the pandemic, the lockdown, they’ve learned real-world skills, they’re flexible, adaptable and can go from online learning to classroom learning,” Kasler said. “And we’ve really enjoyed this semester because they’ve all kind of gotten used to going back to class, making friends, making lifelong friends, and being active and involved on campus.”
Many of the students who transitioned to in-person learning didn’t know many of the local staples, such as Celestino’s pizza and tres hombres, and even though they were long-time students, Kassler recalled, they had to learn the area.
Parents, family, friends and partners stood and cheered as the graduates headed to their seats for the ceremony. The barrage of hats turned and tipped to the graduating students, some smiling, some laughing and many sad, sitting side by side as they prepared to receive their degrees after the arduous journey to get to this moment.
Interim Provost Steve Perez delivered the event’s opening remarks.
“Today, we celebrate our graduates and share their joy with their friends, families and supporters,” Perez said. “This is the best time of the year because we recognize the achievements of our graduates and look forward to seeing what’s next.”
Many graduates acknowledged the struggles they faced during their time at the college and soon-to-retire Chico State President Gayle Hutchinson followed Pres.
“Many of you are the first in your family to graduate from college,” Hutchinson said. “Many have faced lack of food and shelter or financial hardship. However, you did not let these challenges stand in your way. Your degree journey over the past few years has been different from the experiences of generations of students who have graduated before you. In epidemics, historic wildfires, atmospheric rivers and droughts; Through late night study sessions, research studies, group projects and presentations, you persevered, and you prevailed.
In total, Chico State is offering a send-off to 5,051 graduate and undergraduate students in spring 2023. These students are completing their studies from Fall 2022 to 2023. The following numbers reflect those graduates:
Total graduates: 5,051
Graduates with 4.0 GPA: 114
Double high: 244