2017 Commencement Celebrates Largest Business and Economics Class in School History

SBE Ceremony Marks First-Ever Commencement in Green Music Center, Confers Honorary Doctorate to Entrepreneur and Advocate Willie Tamayo
May 30, 2017

Rohnert Park, California - The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that 571 students will be graduating on Saturday, May 22 at 9 a.m. in Weill Hall at Green Music Center (GMC) as the largest group of graduates in SBE's 56-year history. The ceremony also marks the first group of students to graduate in the new 2017 Commencement location at GMC. As part of the SBE proceedings, student Annie Azevedo will provide remarks to fellow graduates, and SSU President, Judy Sakaki, will confer the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters to William "Willie" Tamayo, owner of La Tortilla Factory, founder of the Elsie Allen High School Foundation, and SSU advocate and benefactor.  
"We're proud to honor Willie Tamayo for his support of life-changing programs that prioritize diversity and social justice as a path to a stronger, more successful community. This year's record-setting class size is evidence of our growth and achievement. The hope and expectation is that students leave here with the right tools to make a positive impact in careers that align with their passions," 
Dr. William S. Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics said.  
Student speaker Annie Azevedo, who will graduate with the highest grade point average in the SBE, benefited from SBE Career Center resources that led to professional work experience at Linkenheimer CPAs and BPM LLP. She also volunteered at community-based organizations during her time at SSU, including Habitat for Humanity, Rohnert Park Animal Shelter, Redwood Empire Foodbank, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue. She earned the distinction of Presidential Scholar throughout her college career, and was recently inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, the honor society for business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

In a survey of this year's SBE graduates, 57 percent of respondents indicated that they are gainfully employed upon graduation. Of those respondents, 24 percent were in internships that resulted in a full-time job. 

The order of the SBE Commencement ceremony is as follows:
Saturday, May 20 at 9 a.m.
Weill Hall at Green Music Center
Call to Attention
Announcements by Dr. Armand Gilinsky, Korbel Professor 
Processional Music

Welcome & Introductions by Dean William S. Silver
Greeting from President Judy Sakaki
Conferral of Honorary Doctorate
Student Address 
Charge to Graduates

Presentation of Master's Candidates/Diplomas 
Presentation of Bachelor's Candidates/Diplomas
Conferring of Degrees
University Alma Mater (SSU Hymn)
Alumni Association & Closing Remarks

Philanthropist Connie Codding will also be conferred with an honorary degree during the School of Education's ceremony on Sunday evening. The Codding Foundation created and supports the Hugh Codding Entrepreneur-in-Residence program at SBE for mentorship opportunities with area employers.

A full schedule of all SSU Commencement ceremonies may be viewed here: http://www.sonoma.edu/uaffairs/commencement/#collapse1 
For more information regarding the 2017 Commencement, or for information regarding SBE programs and degrees, please contact (707) 664-2377 or visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe.