Virtual Graduate Commencement slated Recorded speeches, calling of names will be online

On May 15, California Lutheran University will launch the first of two virtual 57th Annual Commencement ceremonies honoring 2020 graduates. In-person ceremonies for the Class of 2020 will be held after COVID-19-related restrictions on large gatherings are lifted.

The virtual 2020 Graduate Commencement honoring 429 students earning master’s degrees and 25 earning doctorates will be accessible beginning at 10 a.m. May 15 at (The virtual commencement for undergraduate students will launch May 16.)

The virtual Graduate Commencement will include video recordings of student speeches, the presentation of graduates by Provost Leanne Neilson, and remarks from and the conferring of degrees by President Chris Kimball. There also will be a blessing, a message from the Alumni Board and a Cal Lutheran Choir performance. The web page will feature downloadable slides for each graduate with photos and recorded announcements of names that can be shared on social media.

Aracely Fox, who is receiving a doctorate in educational leadership, will speak on behalf of her fellow doctoral graduates. A first-generation Mexican American, the Oxnard resident was the first in her family to graduate from high school. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a teaching credential and master’s degree from Cal Lutheran. Because educational opportunities and support helped her overcome challenges, she decided to become an advocate for underrepresented students in the schools. The mother of four has worked for the Oxnard School District for 18 years, serving as a teacher, principal and now the director of dual-language programs.

Tien-Hsuan “Sandy” Chin, an international student receiving a master’s degree in business administration, will speak on behalf of the students receiving master’s degrees. A cellist who performed in hundreds of concerts over 15 years, she decided to quit her job, leave her home and cello in Taiwan, and seek an MBA in marketing at Cal Lutheran because she wants to help classical musicians better promote themselves. She enjoyed living with hosts in Simi Valley who made her feel like part of their family and meeting students from around the world at Cal Lutheran. She hopes to work for a marketing company where she can integrate her business knowledge and experience as a professional musician.

Cal Lutheran offers programs for about 1,200 graduate students through the School of Management, Graduate School of Education and Graduate School of Psychology in Thousand Oaks, Woodland Hills, Westlake Village, Oxnard, Santa Maria, Austria and online. The university transitioned to virtual instruction for the spring semester on March 16 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, email