College of Business and Economics – 4:30pm


[ Music ] [ Applause ]>>Ladies and gentlemen,
please remain standing and welcome Cal State
LA students Holly Jones and Iliana Sandejas who will
sing the national anthem, accompanied by the Cal
State LA brass quintet. [ Music ]>>[Singing] Oh say can you
see, by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed at
the twilight’s last gleaming? Whose broad stripes
and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
o’er the ramparts we watched, we were so gallantly streaming. And the rockets’ red glare,
the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night
that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled
banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the
home of the brave? [ Applause ]>>Please be seated. Good afternoon, students, honored family members
and friends. I’m Ty Jackson, dean
of the College of Business and Economics. [ Applause ] Welcome to the 2019 commencement
ceremony for the College of Business and Economics. [ Applause ] Over the course of your
academic career, our faculty, administration and staff
have focused their expertise on your success. They have become your
mentors and for many of you, your colleagues. At this time, I would like to
acknowledge and thank member of the California
State University Board of Trustees Rami Sibalios, the
chair of the academic senate, Dr. Vina Prabu, the members of
the faculty, emeriti faculty, staff and administration for
assisting out students to excel and achieve their goals. Will these members of the university community
please stand and be recognized? [ Applause ] Thank you. You may be seated. Now please join me in giving a
warm welcome to the president of Cal State LA, Dr.
William A. Covino. [ Applause ]>>Congratulations,
class of 2019. That’s you. [ Applause ] You’ve made it. Well, we haven’t reviewed
all the finals yet, but I think you’ve made it. You’ve worked hard for
this accomplishment. You’ve persevered, you’ve
excelled and today we are here to celebrate you, all
that you’ve achieved and all that is yet to come. In the story of your life, your time at Cal State
LA is a pivotal chapter. During your time here, we witnessed world-changing
events together. California became the
world’s fifth-largest economy, expanding opportunities that
await you as you graduate. Political changes in the
nation created new priorities and challenges, and the
voices of students determined to serve the public good became
an even more impactful voice for change. During your time here, advances
in technology gave us new power, new potential, new
business models. We heard national
discussions about the use and abuse of our personal data. We contended with data
breaches and cyberattacks. And our day-to-day life
has become more full of possibilities for personal
growth and more full of tools to solve the vexing
problems of our times. You, class of 2019,
amidst all this, you are the creators
of tomorrow. During your time here, you
each experienced a personal transformation as profound as the events we lived
through together. You’re not the same
person you were when you first set
foot on campus. You came here with a plan to
learn more, to focus your major on a career path or perhaps
to embark on a new one. And you’ll leave Cal State LA
with knowledge and experiences that will propel you forward
into rewarding careers and rewarding personal and
professional relationships. I hope that you’ll always
remember the faculty who taught and mentored you and helped you
become the accomplished graduate that you are today, the
friends who encouraged you and the community
that embraced you. You shared in important
events in the life of the university community. Together we celebrated Cal
State LA’s 70th anniversary. We launched new initiatives. We stood in the spotlight
when a study in the New York Times ranked
Cal State LA number one in the nation for the upward
mobility of our students. [ Applause ] And graduates, that means
a bright future awaits you. And parents, that means that they’ll be buying you
dinner one of these days. [ Applause ] Today you become
alumni of Cal State LA. You join the ranks of more than
250,000 alumni of Cal State LA, and more than 3 million alumni of the California State
University system. Our outstanding alumni include
tennis legend Billie Jean King, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congresswoman Lucille
Roybal-Allard, astronaut Samuel Durants, Isaac Larion the creator
of the Bratz dolls. Dr. Sumanta Pall, the director
of the kidney cancer program and medical oncology at
City of Hope Hospital. Dr. Lina Wen, president and
CEO of Planned Parenthood. [ Applause ] I’m very gratified by
the enthusiasm for Lina. We’re really working hard to
get her back to Cal State LA. She’s a little busy and
the calendar’s full, but she is coming back and
she’s going to get a chance to talk to all of you. So you have to come back too. Other alums are the
members of the family that owns Porto’s Bakery. And our keynote speaker for
today, Leonor Gavina-Valls who, along with her family,
owns Gavina Coffee. Yeah. [ Applause ] By the way, Porto’s
serves Gavina coffee. So you get two alums
in one, all right? Now, all of these
great people and many, many others are your
fellow alums. The class of 2019
includes 129 veterans who have served our
nation with valor and returned to earn a degree. [ Applause ] I would like to ask all of
the veterans in the room here with us today, parents,
family, friends, graduates, all of the veterans, please
stand and let us thank you. [ Applause ] Thank you so very much. We’re so very grateful
for your service. The College of Business and Economics is a
nationally-renowned college. It is ranked among the
top ten in California by US News and World Report. Our expert, distinguished,
dedicated faculty has taught you to bring new perspectives,
fresh ideas and high ambitions to your future endeavors. They’ve prepared you
for 21st-century careers in global business and in
the local business community. This college is home to the
Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation which hosts
Entrepreneurship Week and the annual Business
Pitch Competition which helps Cal State
LA startups and businesses get
off the ground. And it’s home to a career
placement center that’s provided you with rewarding internships
and employment with partners that include the
Creative Artist Agency, Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
Boeing, Disney, Southern California Edison
and on and on and on. In this college, students
like Destiny Calderon — [ Applause ] Experience self-discovery
and then embark on a journey to help others reach
their potential. During her years at Cal State
LA, Destiny conquered the fear and negative thinking
that had stymied her. Armed with that victory,
she became a campus leader. Destiny founded a chapter
of Toastmasters on campus. She is the founding
president of the Marketing and Analytics Research
Student Club. And she is the force
behind the Case Competition which she launched in fall 2018
with the help of Miriam Tofegi, Cal State LA assistant
professor of marketing. [ Applause ] In the competition, teams of
Cal State LA students compete to provide real-world
business problem solutions to a sponsoring company based
on market research analysis. Because of her role
in the competition, Destiny was offered an
internship which she turned down so that another student
would have the opportunity. Destiny has held
internships with Enrich LA, a nonprofit organization
that builds edible gardens in schools, and the
United Parcel Service. Today, Destiny graduates
with a bachelor of science in business administration
in the marketing option and a minor in real estate. Her goal is to work
in market research. Congratulations, Destiny. We look forward to all
that you will accomplish. [ Applause ] The College of Business
and Economics is also home to students like Sam Croucher,
who see a need in our society and gain the knowledge
needed to meet it. Sam began playing soccer as
a kid in Derbyshire, England and played throughout
his collegiate years. He served as captain of our
men’s soccer team and excelled on the field and
in the classroom. As an undergraduate, he received
the prestigious Billie Jean King scholarship. Sam noticed a troubling trend
among professional athletes. Some who had risen to the
highest levels of play and pay would lose their
wealth after a traumatic event such as a career-ending injury. That narrative troubled Sam, who knew athletes could
have brighter futures with better financial
advising and planning. Sam’s compassion for
athletes grew deeper after a torn ACL
left him sidelined. He decided to pursue an MBA
while making his way back to play a final season in
the Cal State LA uniform. Sam adopted what he calls
a beast mode mentality, working a strenuous
rehabilitation program that added an additional
2-3 hours of training to his
daily regimen. After seven months in beast
monde, Sam laced up his boots for the 2018 season and led the
nationally-ranked Golden Eagles as they won the CCAA tournament. [ Applause ] Sam was named a 2018 College
Sports Information Directors of America Academic
All-American in his final season for the Golden Eagles. He was one of only nine
student athletes in the country to do so with a 4.0 GPA. [ Applause ] As you might expect, Sam landed
multiple internships and one, found through a Cal
State LA connection, became a full-time position. Today, Sam is a financial
advisor assistant at a firm in Glendale. His goal is to become a
licensed financial advisor and to develop a clientele
of professional athletes who will be financially prepared
to face life’s challenges. Today, Sam graduates
with a master of business administration
with an option in finance. Congratulations, Sam. [ Applause ] Graduates, you’re
headed to communities that you will energize
and empower with all that you’ve learned, with
the Cal State LA values that you carry, with your
experiences as a part of this rich intellectual
community. That’s why today’s commencement
is such a monumental day for communities across
Los Angeles and wherever you call home. When you walk across this stage, you’re not just walking
for yourself. You’re walking for
the places you love. Graduates of Cal State
LA represent the best of Los Angeles because
of the dedication and knowledge you’re carrying
with you wherever you’re headed, wherever you will live and work. That place can look forward to having an even better
future because you’re there. You’re walking today
for the places you love. And you’re also walking
for the people you love. You did not accomplish
this important goal alone. Those who you love
inspired and motivate you. In that connection, I would like
all of the mothers and fathers of our graduates to please
stand and let us thank you. [ Applause ] Now you stay standing. Stay standing. We want to add the grandmothers
and grandfathers to you. Grandmothers and grandfathers. [ Applause ] Aunts and uncles. [ Applause ] Sisters and brothers. [ Applause ] Nieces and nephews. [ Applause ] Spouses and children. [ Applause ] And all of the relatives and
friends of the class of 2019. [ Applause ] Thank you all so very much. I mean, in so many ways — in
so many ways you have helped to make this day possible
for your graduate. So graduates, in the
story of your life, today is an unforgettable
chapter. You now head out into the
greater world and it is a world that we sometimes worry about. We worry about living in a world
that seems to encourage conflict through misinformation
and factionalism. I encourage you to believe that
it is more true that we live in a world of compassion,
generosity and love. At Cal State LA, we’re all
deeply connected to a community that embraces people of diverse
backgrounds who all worry about some of the same
things, who all love some of the same things
and who all face some of the same obstacles
and challenges. With this community in
mind, I hope above all else that you leave here today
dedicated to engagement, service and the public good. Dedicate yourselves to
lives that steer clear of the unkindness
and misrepresentation that have become all too
common in social media and in public discourse. Ask yourself whether
the information you hear and read is accurate, and
whether the motives behind that information and the
judgements that it makes are as they should be,
well-informed, well-intentioned and dedicated to community
rather than conflict. Caring for one another is at the
heart of what education means. We all want to make
the world a place of greater connection
and caring. You can do this. You will do this because
you are Golden Eagles, and you will soar. Congratulations. [ Applause ]>>Thank you, President Covina. Now it is my pleasure to
introduce our keynote speaker. Leonor Gavina-Valls is a
proud alumna of Cal State LA. She is the daughter of
Don Francisco Gavina, the founder of F.
Gavina and Sons, Inc. and helps run the company
with her three brothers. As a young girl, she worked
with her brothers and father at their coffee plantation
and roasting plant. Today, she serves as vice
president of marketing and is responsible for the
company’s public relations, efforts in marketing
of its coffee brands, as well as overseeing the firm’s
major charitable endeavors. She works to improve
the quality of coffee and set industry
standards and practices through several organizations. Miss Gavina-Valls is
a former board member of the Pacific Coast
Coffee Association and a founding member
and past president of the Specialty Coffee
Association of America. The organization has honored
her for her leadership in her many contributions
to the coffee industry. Please join me in welcoming
Leonor Gavina-Valls. [ Applause ]>>Thank you for that
wonderful introduction and for the kind invitation
to be here with you today. And thank you to Dean Jackson,
the members of the College of Business and Economics
faculty and to the students and your family and
friends who are here on this momentous occasion. It is such an honor to
be back at Cal State LA. I graduated from this wonderful
institution 45 years ago in 1974 with a bachelor’s
degree in economics and a minor in business. This was a long time ago. You guys, many, many — most of you probably were
not even born yet. But for me, it’s like
it was yesterday. I still remember that,
as they just said, you guys will remember
this day 45 years from now. Receiving the degree
meant so many things. I was nervous, I was excited, scared and amazed
all at the same time. It was a time of
celebration, for sure. But at that moment it also
became a symbol of everything that my family and I had been
through and worked for to get where I was at that moment. Everything seemed
unlikely, yet so possible. I remember looking
around to see where I was, wanting to freeze
the moment in my mind so that I would never forget it. Go ahead, look around
and freeze this moment. Take it in. Today is a gift that no
one can take away from you. When I was where you
are now, I had only been in this country for a few years. I was an immigrant in
a family of immigrants and my parents had started
over in a new country in their 50’s and 60’s. The only business I had ever
known was the coffee business. But coffee then is not as
popular as it is today. You see, for me, coffee is
the caficito and espresso. That’s part of my
life and my family. In Cuba where I’m from,
we were coffee farmers. But as we left the island,
we ended up in the city of Los Angeles where we
have been for over 50 years. My family’s struggled,
my parents took on jobs. My father’s dream was to get
back into the coffee business. And he started it in
a very humble way. They started Gavina
and Sons, Inc. a coffee roasting company. Seeing that drive in both my
father and mother propelled me to do more, to get educated so that I could help
them grow the business. Going to college and paying
for college wasn’t easy, as I’m sure it has been
for many, many of you. There were many struggles,
multiple side jobs and sacrifices that had to be
made to continue my education. For my family, graduating from college wasn’t
just having a degree. It was something that
could not be taken away. For me as a graduate of
this fantastic institution, as a mother and as
a business owner, wanted to pass this same
sentiment to the next generation or to anyone that
will listen to me. Today, you walk out of
here with a great gift, something that no one will be
able to take away from you. With your education
that you have earned, the right to be next to anyone,
anywhere, no matter how rich or how important or out
of reach they may seem. Use that knowledge that you have
gained, the people you have met and experiences you have
had to get better, do better and to make the world better
in your own unique way. The next thing I would
like to share today is about dreaming big and
not putting a ceiling on your dreams. In many graduation
speeches, you will hear a lot about dreaming big and
setting your sights high. But I’m here to tell you that sometimes you cannot
even imagine how high or how far you can go. Don’t put a ceiling
on your dreams. There are no limits to what you
can do and what you can dream. A lot of the hard work has been
done, and now the road ahead of you has been paved. Don’t dwell on your past. Don’t let anyone label
you or stereotype you. Just focus on what lies ahead
and go get that job now. Remember, in the end we’re
all beaten by the same sun, breathe the same air and
are going to the same place. Even if you feel like an
outsider or are a minority like me — yes, I’m a minority. You can hear it by my accent. I’m a woman and Latina. But let me tell you, even
before I was a minority, even before I knew what a
minority was, I was a minority. I’m the only girl
of four siblings and that will make me a fighter. You step up where maybe some
people think you don’t belong, but you do it anyway
without fear. Sometimes when I look back at
my journey through the years, I realize that I had no idea of
the milestones I was achieving. Not just as a woman
and a minority, but in my own industry. By the time I entered
the workforce, women were just starting to
make their way up the ladder in the business world. But there definitely were
not many of us in coffee. And yet, in the mid-80’s
I became president of the Specialty Coffee
Association of America. And then later somebody told
me that I was the first woman to achieve that role,
which I never realized. You know, I was just the
president of an organization and later on somebody told me,
“Hey, you know, by the way, you are the first
woman to be president.” Yeah. [ Applause ] As I searched for what I
wanted to make my mark, I looked to different examples. Obviously, my family at home. But I also looked
at many professors. Professors were very
approachable and an important guide for me. They took time to
talk to the students. Classes were smaller
then of course, but there was still a
rich mix of professors from different backgrounds. And like me, they had
experiences out of this country. That diversity enriched
me and my thinking, and even the way I approach
business, then and today with employees and partners
across the US and abroad. I didn’t necessarily think
of myself as a minority. I felt like myself but part of
a bigger, broader mix of people. And being in an environment that made me think beyond
being a woman or a minority. It made me feel part
of a diverse community, opened my mind and gave
me different perspectives and broadened my horizons. No limit. Remember, no ceiling. That said, things change no
matter what field you’re in. New technologies and
consumer demands. You need to seize
the opportunities and stay open-minded. Today you young people are
changing the world in a big way. Your generation is adaptable. You grew up in an era where
the digital world is part of your daily life. I didn’t have a phone
until I was way grown up and then it was about this big. [ Laughter ] You also grew up in an age
where there is more acceptance. You have a different
perspective of the world and how business should be run. Take your knowledge,
find your passion and go create your own success. You are the one that
can create it. Nobody else will do it for you. The truth is that you never
know where you’re going. But by all means, dream
that impossible dream. The future could
never be — I’m sorry. The future will be
better than anything that you could ever
have imagined. And I’m rooting for all of you. Congratulations. Go out there and get
it, class of 2019. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Thank you very much. Oh, let’s please give Leonor
Gavina-Valls another round of applause. [ Applause ] Our proud alumnus. Among the students earning
baccalaureate degrees are those who will graduate
with academic honors. Dr. Angela Young, associate
dean of the College of Business and Economics will
acknowledge these students. Dr. Young? [ Applause ]>>The university grants
the baccalaureate degree with Latin designations suma
cum laude, magna cum laude or cum laude to students who maintain an outstanding
academic record while earning their degrees. These students wear gold braids
draped on their black gowns to mark their outstanding
academic accomplishments. Will the candidates
for graduation with honors please
rise and be recognized? [ Applause ] Thank you. Now it is my pleasure to introduce the chief academic
officer of the university, Dr. Lynn Mahoney, provost and vice president
for academic affairs. Dr. Mahoney? [ Applause ]>>President Covina, I
present to you the candidates for degrees in the college
of business and economics. They have met all
of the requirements for their respective
degrees and are recommended by the university
faculty who taught them. [ Applause ]>>The recipients of the master
of arts, master of science and the master of business
administration from the College of Business and economics
will now be lauded on stage. [ Music ]>>And now, master
of arts in economics. [ Music ] [Reading List of Graduates]>>And now, master of science
in business administration. [Reading List of Graduates]>>And now master of
business administration. [Reading List of Graduates]>>The candidates for baccalaureate degrees will
now be presented on stage. And now, bachelor of
arts in economics. [Reading List of Graduates]>>And now bachelor of science
in business administration, economics and statistics. [Reading List of Graduates]>>And now bachelor of science
in business administration, finance, law and real estate. [Reading List of Graduates] [ Applause ]>>All right. That was a very good
run through. We noticed a couple of mistakes. We’re going to do it once more. [ Laughter ] No, let’s say the
right words here. Will the candidates for
master’s degrees please rise for the conferral of the degree? Master’s degrees, there you go. All right. [ Applause ] By the authority vested in
my by the state of California and by the trustees of the
California State University, I hereby confer upon
you the master’s degree for which you qualify, with
all the rights, privileges and honors pertaining thereto. Congratulations. [ Applause ] Now we’re going to have
you sit down for a minute. We’re going to have
the candidates for the baccalaureate
degrees stand up. [ Applause ] All right. [ Applause ] Okay, here we go. By the authority vested in
my by the state of California and by the trustees of the
California State University, I hereby confer upon you
the baccalaureate degree for which you qualify, with
all the rights, privileges and honors pertaining thereto. Now take the tassel, move it
from the right to the left. Congratulations. [ Applause ] Let’s have you stand up
again, master’s degrees. Master’s degrees, up again. Ladies and gentlemen,
the class of 2019. [ Applause ] Such a quiet crowd, isn’t it? Come on, we can do
better than that. Come on, let’s go. [ Applause ] I would like to thank all of
the university staff, faculty, students and volunteers involved in organizing the 2019
commencement ceremony. And acknowledge the members
of the honors convocation and commencement
advisory committee. After the ceremony, we invite
you to take photos and celebrate with the faculty of the College
of Business and Economics. You may meet them in
front of King Hall, across from the University
Library on the east side. At this time, the university
hymn will be performed by Cal State LA students Holly
Jones and Iliana Sandejas who will be accompanied by the
Cal State LA brass quintet. The lyrics may be found on
the back of your program. [ Cheering ] [ Music ] [ Singing ] [ Applause ] [ Music ]

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