Sun Devils celebrate spring 2019 graduation in special-interest communities

May 16, 2019

Nearly 11,000 undergraduate and approximately 4,800 graduate students graduated in May from Arizona State University. Families gathered to celebrate with their Sun Devils at Wells Fargo Arena on May 6 and at seven special-interest convocations May 4–10.

Special-interest convocations provide the opportunity for families and friends to celebrate students’ accomplishments in a more intimate setting and honor ASU’s diverse student community. More than 1,500 students and thousands of family members participated in selected convocation ceremonies, including the American Indian, Asian/Asian-Pacific American, Black African, Hispanic, International and Rainbow convocations and the Veteran’s Honor Stole Ceremony.

Biological sciences major Lance Villarreal participated in the Rainbow Convocation on May 7. He said he loved the rainbow tassels, and he found the celebration to be unique and powerful.

“It was such a great feeling to know that we had our own convocation for LGBTQ people. I’ve never heard of that at any other university. This was so special. I thought, oh I have to be there for that,” he said.

“I’m building a bigger community. It’s so cool.”

Maryam Abadul Rashid, a sustainability major, participated in the International Convocation on May 4. Originally from Malaysia, she said it felt very fitting to come to a ceremony that would represent people from all over the world.

“I took a big risk coming here, and the first people to greet me were international students, and I’d like to see all my friends,” she said.

At the American Indian Convocation May 8, finance major Dexter Nebitsi said he was proud to be there as a Navajo Sun Devil.

“[The convocation] means something a little bit more to me just to be here with people I know, people I recognize, a bunch of my peers who are Native American. Just being here is a blessing, and I’m glad to be here with my fellow peers.”

Katarina Junio, who majored in computer information systems and business data analytics, said she was proud to participate in the Asian/Asian Pacific American Convocation on May 8 because she’s been involved in the community, especially the Phillipine American Student Association, and because she has attended the convocation in the past to honor her friends.  

“I’ve been looking forward to this convocation specifically ever since I was a freshman, just because it’s a chance to graduate with your friends with this amazing community of people in your culture and other cultures as well. And I’m just really proud I get to represent my culture in this way.”

Read about more spring 2019 graduates. Congratulations to all the new Sun Devil alumni!