Graduates Shine During Multiethnic Graduation Celebration
Wearing bright blue stoles intricately embroidered with the French Cross, 29 seniors from diverse backgrounds celebrated the 14th annual Multiethnic Graduation Celebration May 19, 2021.
Since 2007, Saint Mary’s has hosted the celebration (except 2020 due to the pandemic) to bring together and honor first generation and multiethnic students. While only students and faculty were in person this year, the event was livestreamed so families could share in the moment.
Katerina Esguerra ’21 explained how she had grown from a nervous young Filipina into a confident woman through her coursework and campus involvement at the College.
Tyler Davis ’21 told of her experience as a black student at Saint Mary’s, and encouraged students to see the community in the room. “I’m sure many of you are carrying the burden of your family’s sacrifice, or the frustration with how they don’t understand your struggles, but take comfort in knowing people sitting beside you share in this hardship,” she said.
Mana Derakhshani, Ph.D., recently retired director of the Center for Intercultural Women’s Leadership (CWIL), shared in her keynote address how she witnessed students and administrators work together to develop cultural awareness over the years. When Derakhshani first started, in 1989, efforts were just beginning to support students from diverse backgrounds. Today the College has initiatives and programming through the Office of Multicultural Services, Office for Student Equity, and beyond.
“This annual celebration provides an opportunity to celebrate our diverse student population and their educational accomplishments,” said Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Gloria Roldán Jenkins. “Coming together on such a joyous occasion is very important to us as an inclusive and supportive community.”