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Juan Esparza Rebecca Plevin Daniel Cásarez Olivia Ruiz Irene Rodriguez Cynthia Moreno Community Health Fellowship

Lots of praise and thanks at UC Merced’s Graduationsavatar

with 5 comments

Claudia Velázquez dances off the stage after receiving her diploma from UC Merced.

Claudia Velázquez dances off the stage after receiving her certificate from UC Merced.

First lady of the United States Michelle Obama and the First lady of the United Farm Workers Dolores Huerta were the keynote speakers at the University of California, Merced’s Commencement Celebration and Latino Graduation Ceremony, respectively, last Saturday.

 

Huerta, a key player in the founding of the United Farm Workers Union, congratulated about 50 students who walked through the school’s first-ever Latino Graduation Ceremony dubbed ‘La tradición comienza’ or ‘Tradition Begins’ with close relatives on the stage of the school’s auditorium. 

Michelle Obama gestures to students of the graduating class of UC Merced.

Michelle Obama gestures to students of the graduating class of UC Merced.

Some of the students chose to walk on stage with their children. Others chose their parents. It was whomever had played a part in their inspiration and success at college.

 

In the main graduation, where about 12,000 spectators braved intense heat of the Central Valley, First lady Michelle Obama praised the students for their effort and the struggle they faced throughout their four years in college.

Dolores Huerta is hailed as she leaves the Latino Graduation Ceremony.

A musician from Maricahi Garibaldi bows as UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta leaves the first-ever Latino Graduation Ceremony at UC Merced.

Mrs. Obama also reminded the graduating class of the tough times ahead saying, ”You will certainly
have doubts.”
Mrs. Obama received the Chancellor’s Medallion of Honor for her speech by Chancellor Steve Kang.  

 

Dolores Huerta delivered a bilingual (Spanish/English) presentation that turned into a rally of cheers of ‘Si se puede’ to the much-smaller crowd in the auditorium. 

As she left the auditorium, one of the musicians of Mariachi Garibaldi bowed in honor of the First lady of the UFW, who encouraged the students to come back to the Valley to help others.

Written by Daniel Cásarez

May 18th, 2009 at 7:03 pm

5 Responses to 'Lots of praise and thanks at UC Merced’s Graduations'

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  1. I SAW THIS ON TV AND DIDN’T THINK MUCH UNTIL I SAW ONE OF THE STUDENTS SAYING THEY WERE INSPIRED BY OBAMA’S SPEECH. IF THEY ARE INSPIRED ENOUGH TO CONTINUE WORKING IN THE FIELD OF CHOICE, THEN OBAMA DID HER JOB. AND THESE KIDS CAN GO ON TO BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS IN LIFE.
    DO YOU KNOW WHERE WE CAN SEE THE WHOLE SPEECH?

    avatar

    birdie

    18 May 09 at 9:02 pm

  2. CAN WE SEE THE HUERTA SPEECH? IS THIS ONE AVAILABLE ANYWHERE ON THE UNIVERSITY MERCED WEB SITE?

    avatar

    birdie

    18 May 09 at 9:06 pm

  3. Sorry I didn’t see anyone taping the Latino Commencement Ceremony where Dolores Huerta spoke, but Michelle Obama’s speech can be seen at the following link.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/16/michelle-obama-commenceme_n_204302.html

    Try a copy and paste.

    avatar

    Dan The Man

    20 May 09 at 10:30 am

  4. I just wanted to correct an error you have on this blog. The graduate dancing is Lucia D. Vazquez. She recieved the first Masters Degree for World Cultures From UC Merced.

    Thank you and have a great day!

    avatar

    Shonnon Gutierrez

    24 May 10 at 8:37 pm

  5. I think its funny that she said the latino graduates could work in their “field” of choice. ZING! hahahaha

    avatar

    Garrett

    14 Mar 11 at 6:32 pm

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