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CSUN holds Veteran Graduation Celebration for class of 2024

After a long semester filled with hard work, the 2024 spring term has come to an end. Many students shined through their grit, sacrifice and dedication, including the CSUN student...

After a long semester filled with hard work, the 2024 spring term has come to an end. Many students shined through their grit, sacrifice and dedication, including the CSUN student veteran graduates. The graduates and their families convened at the Northridge Center on May 11th to commemorate the culmination of many years of arduous work. As the doors opened, many graduates took pictures in order to immortalize this special occasion they worked so hard to get to.

Some graduates, like Ernesto Perez, said, “Be persistent, Dale duro!” when asked about one lesson they’ll take with them after their academic journey at CSUN. “Dale duro” translates to “go hard.”

Another graduate named Arturo Munoz said that something he’s learned on his journey to becoming a veteran graduate is that his hard work was worth it.

A Color Guard presentation and singing of the National Anthem by the CSUN ROTC at the Northridge Center for the Veteran Graduation on Saturday, May 11, 2024 in Northridge, Calif. (Andrew Sanchez)

“Nothing worthwhile comes easy, but everything of true worth requires sacrifice and diligence,” Munoz said. “The hard work put towards the things that people work for is really worth the sacrifice. Working with other peers and seeing other people in the struggle I have been able to see what sacrifice really means. Everyone part of this race struggled but we persisted and never gave up, and after lots of hard work, we are finally here at the finish line.”

After eating, reminiscing and laughing, the graduation ceremony commenced with the Land Acknowledgment and the singing of the National Anthem by the CSUN Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or ROTC.

Afterward, President Erika D. Beck and Vice President for Student Affairs William Watkins stepped up to the podium to give their acknowledgements and remarks about yet another hard-working group of graduates that make up the next generation.

The keynote speaker, Senator Caroline Menjivar, a CSUN alumna and U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, shared how she aspired to become a firefighter but changed course and served in the Marine Corps from 2009-2016. Following her time on active duty, she began her studies at Cal State University Northridge, where she obtained her bachelor’s in social welfare. She then earned her master’s in the same field of study at UCLA. Senator Menjivar shared about the committees she is now on, and how she is a Commissioner for the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, as well as a member of the San Fernando Valley Marine Corps League. Her experience served as a reminder to everyone there that their goals are achievable with perseverance and hard effort.

After an inspiring moment, a toast was raised to the branches and the veteran graduates walked the stage to receive their awards.