Spring Commencement Celebrates Graduates’ Accomplishments, Promise
On a day filled with excitement, joy and fulfillment, the University of La Verne recognized the nearly 1,200 newest additions to its growing roll of proud alumni during a pair of ceremonies marking its 121st commencement.
Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario was the site for two of the three June 1 ceremonies, honoring graduate candidates from La Verne’s main campus, the Campus Accelerated Program for Adults, and the off-campus programs overseen by the university’s Regional and Online Campuses. Large crowds filled the spacious facility for both events as families and friends boisterously cheered on the Class of 2013.
Graduates from the College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Education & Organizational Leadership took part in the morning celebration at the arena. During his keynote address, acclaimed political strategist and author Joe Trippi recommended that the graduates accent what they’ve learned with their personal drive to achieve their desired goals.
“It’s your passion and commitment that will get you where you want to be,” said Trippi, who earlier offered an emotion-laden appreciation for what the graduates had accomplished. “You’ve done something that I was never able to do; earn your college degree.”
The afternoon ceremony recognized those graduating from the College of Business & Public Management. Tommy Lasorda, former manager and longtime member of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball organization, used humor and his personal experiences to motivate the graduates and entertain the audience. He spoke of a time when, as a relief pitcher, he faced New York Yankee great Yogi Berra.
“As I walked out, I looked around and thought, ‘I’ve been here many times in my dreams,’” Lasorda said, adding how he then proceeded to strike out Berra. “It does happen. Dreams do come true.”
This year’s graduates from La Verne’s Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership (Ed.D.) program were honored during the Commencement & Hooding Ceremony held at the Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center in Pomona. Families, friends and colleagues gathered to enjoy lunch and applaud the newcomers joining the more than 2,000 Ed.D. alumni working in education, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.