San Diego State celebrates 2020 grads in virtual commencement

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SAN DIEGO — San Diego State University celebrated 2020 graduates Saturday in a virtual commencement ceremony featuring campus leaders including Aztec basketball coach Brian Dutcher as well as a handful of notable university alumni.

The ceremony was held virtually in lieu of an in-person event, put on hold until at least December due to COVID-19, university officials say. SDSU has not yet said when in-person instruction on campus will resume, and plans to offer online instruction to students through the summer.

In her address to graduates, SDSU President Adela de la Torre praised university students for their “fortitude and resiliency.”

“You have the skills, the preparation, the experience and the grit to make a difference at a time where this difference is desperately needed,” de la Torre said. “We are exceedingly proud of what you have accomplished, who you are becoming, and, even more, who you will continue to become.”

Other guest speakers during the ceremony included NASA Astronaut Dr. Ellen Ochoa; Jim Sinegal, former CEO and co-founder of Costco; Ron Fowler, executive chairman and co-owner of the San Diego Padres; Susan Salka, CEO of AMN Healthcare; and Aztec point guard Malachi Flynn.

Ochoa, a 1980 university graduate, said that while she didn’t know where her career would end up on graduation day, she was “well-prepared” for it because of her time at SDSU.

“Congratulations on reaching this important milestone in your life,” Ochoa said, “and best wishes to you, your families and your supporters on this momentous occasion.”

Rather than reading the names of some 10,000 expected graduates, Saturday’s ceremony showcased a number of university highlights from the past year such as the Mission Valley stadium project and the success of the Mountain West champion men’s basketball team.

“Like our Aztec team did many times this past season, you have persevered through some challenging times and achieved your victory,” Dutcher said. “You are now a degree holder from San Diego State University, ready for a world full of tremendous opportunity and challenge.”

The commencement can be viewed in its entirety below.

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