Chapman University’s 156th Commencement is full of ‘firsts’

Commencement 2017 is scheduled for May 19-21.

This year, nearly 2,367 students are eligible to participate in Chapman University’s 2017 Commencement festivities. The University will welcome thousands of family and friends over the course of nine graduation ceremonies to be held between Friday, May 19, and Sunday, May 21.

The weekend will kick off on Friday with the Baccalaureate Interfaith Worship Service at 4 p.m. in the Musco Center for the Arts. A beloved tradition, the service will feature Justin Baldoni, acclaimed actor, director and entrepreneur, whose efforts are focused on creating and effecting positive change. He is known for his role as Rafael on the CW award-winning sitcom, Jane the Virgin,  a television series that also stars Chapman Alumna Camille Collard ’10. The service will be followed by the Senior Convocation—the all-university academic ceremony honoring the achievements of the graduating class—then, the President’s Toast to the Class of 2017 seniors.

The Dale E. Fowler School of Law Hooding and Commencement Ceremony will occur that same day. Ceremonies for eight more Chapman schools and colleges will take place on Saturday and Sunday. Seven of the Ceremonies will be on Wilson Field and one—the College of Performing Arts—will be inside of Musco Center for the Arts.

Although, this will be Chapman’s 156th annual Commencement, it marks a lot of “firsts” for the University. This year’s Commencement will be President Daniele Struppa’s first as Chapman president. He was inaugurated as Chapman’s thirteenth president in Sept. 2016.

The School of Communication, Chapman’s newest school, is also celebrating its first Commencement Ceremony. Launched in fall 2016, the school offers three academic programs—Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Strategic and Corporate Communication and Master of Science (M.S.) in Health and Strategic Communications—and over 200 students from these programs will receive their degrees this year.

Outside of the nine Commencement Ceremonies, in August, 11 students will receive their Masters of Science degrees in pharmaceutical sciences from Chapman University School of Pharmacy (CUSP). The graduation ceremony will be combined with the traditional White Coat Ceremony for the upcoming Class of 2020 in the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program. The School of Pharmacy was founded at the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine in 2013 and this will be the second cohort of M.S. students graduating.



Friday, May 19

4 – 6 p.m. Dale E. Fowler School of Law Hooding and Ceremony
Wilson Field
4 – 5 p.m. Baccalaureate Interfaith Worship Service
Musco Center for the Arts – featuring Justin Baldoni (“Jane the Virgin”)
7 – 9 p.m. Closing Convocation and President’s Toast
Wilson Field and Aitken Arts Plaza

Saturday, May 20

8 – 10:30 a.m. George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics Ceremony
Wilson Field  — Keynote Address: Paul Wasserman, Co-Founder and CEO of 
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences Ceremony
Wilson Field — Keynote Address: Dr. Amir Raz, Canada Research Chair in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, Canada
2:00 – 3:30 p.m. College of Educational Studies Ceremony
Wilson Field — Keynote Address & Honorary Degree: Michael B. Matsuda, Anaheim Union High School District Superintendent
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts Ceremony
Wilson Field — Keynote Address & Honorary Degree: Don Hahn, Academy Award Nominated Producer 
7:30 – 9 p.m. School of Communication Ceremony
Wilson Field — Keynote Address: Clark Beckham, Songwriter, “American Idol” Finalist

Sunday, May 21

8 – 9:30 a.m. Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Ceremony
Wilson Field — Keynote Address & Honorary Degree: Pico Iyer, Presidential Fellow
10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Schmid College of Science and Technology Ceremony
Wilson Field — Keynote Address: Paul A. Cook, General Manager of Irvine Ranch Water District; Honorary Degree: Joe Kiani, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Masimo
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. College of Performing Arts Ceremony
Musco Center for the Arts — Keynote Address: Ken Bunt, President, Disney Music Group 

For more information on the Commencement ceremonies and events, please visit Chapman University’s Commencement website.

Bethanie Le

Bethanie Le

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