Sunday, May 27 , 2018, 2:49 pm | Fair 66º


Local News

UC Santa Barbara’s Class of 2017 Celebrates Graduation Day by Degrees

Cheered on by family and friends, thousands of brand-new alumni accept diplomas during 8 commencement ceremonies


Excited well-wishes and smiles lit up an already bright Saturday morning as thousands of soon-to-be UC Santa Barbara graduates gathered at the seaside campus to celebrate the university’s commencement.

Serenaded by the “Pomp and Circumstance” graduation march and the resounding cheers of family and friends, the students — in gowns adorned with blue and gold sashes — waved to their guests and took selfies as they were seated.

This year, UCSB conferred 5,770 undergraduate and graduate degrees from the 2016-2017 academic year.

The accomplishments were celebrated in eight commencement ceremonies.

In the first of UCSB’S ceremonies last weekend, students in the College of Creative Studies were proclaimed graduates. The ceremonies continued with the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management on Friday.

On Saturday, science, engineering and social sciences majors shifted their tassels to the left.

Commencement is scheduled to finish Sunday with more social science, humanities and arts majors, and master’s and doctoral candidates, as well as teaching and service credential candidates.

Looking out over a sea of people at UCSB’s Faculty Club lawn adjacent to the campus lagoon, Raquel Izumi, a leading drug development and clinical research professional, told the graduating class at Saturday’s ceremony for science majors that life is 10 percent “what happens to you” and 90 percent “how you react.”

Izumi, a founder of the cancer drug research company Acerta Pharma, spoke about the drive and dedication to succeed in life. She urged the students to pay attention to the positive impact on those around them.

“When the long road to success gets tough, finding inspiration along the way can provide the motivation to keep going,” she said. “There’s never a perfect time to embark on a great adventure.”

Izumi holds a bachelor of arts degree in biological sciences from UCSB. She was a Howard Hughes predoctoral dellow at UCLA, where she obtained her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology.

Chancellor Henry Yang presided over the ceremony, congratulating the graduates, and thanking their family members for their “unwavering love and support” for the students.

He said he had “happy memories” of the graduating class during his recruitment tour and the students’ freshman year move-in weekend.

“My wife and I have enjoyed being your neighbors on campus,” Yang told the students. “This campus is a place of rich intellectual vitality, as well as spectacular natural beauty.”

Biological sciences graduate Timothy Ngo gave the student address.

Pierre Wiltzius, the Susan and Bruce Worster dean of science, said he has watched UCSB grow from a “great institution” to a “world-renowned powerhouse.”

“You are graduating from a tremendous community of scholars, students, researchers and Gauchos,” he told the graduates. “The future is in good hands.”

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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