Students from Antioch University Santa Barbara took the stage on Friday, June 15, 2018, to celebrate commencement. For some, it was a happy ending to their educational experience, and for others, just the beginning. Family, friends, faculty, and graduates all came together at the beautiful Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort on E. Cabrillo in Santa Barbara, CA as the ceremony began that afternoon.
The room was lit up with smiling faces, loud cheers, and claps as the graduates walked down the hotel’s lively event room. As the black caps, some decorated with inspiring quotes or phrases slowly took their seats, the ceremony began with the Provost Dr. Barbara Lipinski giving the first. She welcomed the guests and encouraged the graduates to continue to pursue their higher education and to strive for social justice. She pressed that the legacy Antioch University students carry is grand and much needed in this world today.
Notable Antioch University speakers took to the podium to share their insights, history of Antioch University, and the importance of higher education. Among them was Chancellor Bill Groves, Board of Governor Carole Isom-Barnes, AUSB Alumni Council President Kathy Burba, AUSB’s Excellence in Teaching awardee Mariela Marin, MBA graduate Max Simon-Gersuk, and PsyD graduate Betty Purify.
Faculty members of AUSB followed with kind words and laughter as they recognized and praised the 46 BA graduates, 11 Education graduates, and 50 Psychology graduates sitting below them. Of the many faculty speeches, two fellow graduates also spoke; Education graduate Alicia Jimenez and BA graduate Farokh Khan, who shared a heartfelt speech which he called “The Great Vision.” It touched on equality, equal rights, and social justice. After the bachelor degree side of the room spoke, it was time for the students receiving their bachelor degrees to line up and wait for their name to be called.
To finish off the ceremony, a few more notable faculty members gave their final words before the last two program graduates for Psychology and Education were signaled to take their turn to walk across the stage and acknowledge the graduation speakers and attendees.
Finally, with the beautiful Santa Barbara sunshine shining down on the beachfront hotel, a reception was held in the hotel’s outdoor corridor as a DJ played uplifting music and food and beverages were offered to guests and graduates alike. Surrounded by palm trees and excited faces, the commencement celebration lasted until early evening.
Well done 2018 AUSB graduates….now go change the world!
By Marissa Whisman