* This article was updated on 5/14/19.
Cal Poly Pomona’s 63rd Commencement ceremonies will award degrees to about 6,070 students over eight ceremonies on May 17, 18 and 19. The events will feature high-profile guest speakers, including Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, and leaders in business and architecture.
FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2019
The Collins College of Hospitality Management, 4 p.m.
Guest Speaker: Steve Burns is the vice president of national operations for the Sysco Specialty Meat Group. Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities and lodging establishments. A leader in supply chain management, Burns has also held key leadership roles at CVS / Caremark Corporation, Office Depot / Office Max and Nike.
Mace Bearer: Margie Ferree Jones
McPhee Scholar: Melissa Nicole Fuentes
Valedictorian: Kelly Alexis Cleland
College of Environmental Design, 8 p.m.
Guest Speaker: Frank Clementi (’83, architecture) is the creative director of the design firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios. His diverse project portfolio includes offices, child care centers, theaters, residential commissions, parks, and institutional and municipal works. He recently taught a fall architecture studio class at Cal Poly Pomona that pioneered virtual reality technologies as they apply to architecture.
Guest Speaker: Julie Smith-Clementi is the president and CEO of notNeutral, which is the product design, manufacturing and retail arm of Rios Clementi Hale Studios. Under her leadership, every notNeutral product tells its own story, be it a coffee cup, a tea cup or a vase. Examples of her work can be found at The Greek Theatre, Hollywood Bowl, Patina Restaurant Group, Jones Plaza in Houston’s Theater District, and also in in residential and educational projects.
Mace Bearer: Alexander (Sasha) Ortenberg
McPhee Scholars: Franco Mellone, Rachel Wells
SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2019
College of Engineering, 8 a.m.
Guest Speaker: Joan Robinson-Berry (’82, engineering technology) is vice president of engineering, modifications & maintenance for Boeing Global Services. Throughout her long career with Boeing, during which she became the first female African-American program manager of a multi-billion-dollar commercial airplane program, Robinson-Berry displayed exceptional technical and personal skills. She has been lauded for her accomplishments in science, technology and mathematics. Her honors range from her induction into the university’s Engineering Hall of Fame and inclusion in Black Enterprise magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in Corporate America” feature. She will receive an honorary doctorate at the ceremony.
Mace Bearer: Farouk Darweesh
McPhee Scholar: Tiffany Peng
Provost’s Award for Excellence in Scholarly & Creative Activities: Xudong Jia
Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching: Donald L. Edberg
College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences, 3 p.m.
Guest Speaker: Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis is the first woman elected Lt. Governor of California. From 2010 to 2013, Kounalakis served as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to the Republic of Hungary. In 2014, Governor Jerry Brown appointed her to chair the California Advisory Council for International Trade and Investment. She was a Virtual Fellow at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) between 2014 and 2017, specializing in international trade and immigration. She is currently a director of the Association of American Ambassadors and a National Democratic Institute (NDI) “Ambassadors Circle” advisor. Prior to her public service, Kounalakis was president of California housing development firm AKT Development.
Mace Bearer: Eileen Wallis
McPhee Scholar: Shea Elizabeth Duarte
Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture, 8 p.m.
Mace Bearer: Dan Hostetler
McPhee Scholar: Sarah Caballero
SUNDAY, MAY 19
College of Business Administration, 8 a.m.
Guest Speaker: Mark Suster is an entrepreneur, angel investor and a managing partner at Upfront Ventures, the largest venture capital investment firm in Southern California. A prominent blogger on the “Both Sides of the Table” website, he is also a mentor at Techstars, which is a mentorship-driven seed stage investment fund. Before joining Upfront, Suster was vice president of product management at Salesforce.com following its acquisition of Koral, where he was Founder and CEO. He was also the founder and CEO of BuildOnline, a European SaaS company.
Mace Bearer: Gerd Welke
McPhee Scholar: Hassan Noureddine
College of Science, 3 p.m.
Mace Bearer: Robert Kerbs
McPhee Scholars: Taylor Edwards, David Hughes
Provost’s Award for Excellence in Service: Steve A. Alas
College of Education and Integrated Studies, 8 p.m.
Mace Bearer: Betty Alford
McPhee Scholars: Dulce Salinas-Alvaro, Ashley Bressel
- Admission is free.
- Seating in the University Quad is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests should arrive at least one hour prior to the ceremony.
- Parking is free and permits are not required.
- Parking for guests with disabilities is located in Lots C and F8. Drivers should display the disabled parking permit.
- Watch the ceremonies online. Live stream video will be available at https://video.cpp.edu/streaming/commencement.php
- We want to see your commencement photos. Share your photos on social media using the hashtag #cppgrad and you may be featured on the @calpolypomona social media accounts.
For more information, visit www.cpp.edu/commencement/.