Sonoma State University celebrated its largest class of graduates in its 58-year history when more than 2,900 students were recognized during commencement ceremonies at the Green Music Center’s Weill Hall on May 18 and 19.
As President Judy K. Sakaki noted in her commencement address, most graduates came from Northern California, “but there are also graduates from 24 other states including Ohio, New York, Oklahoma, Virginia, Kansas and Louisiana,” she said. “And, we also have graduates from China, Thailand and the Philippines.”
She noted that the youngest graduate is 20 years old, “ and we have two graduates who are 72 years young,” she said.
The following “Meet the Class of 2019” profiles highlight five graduating Sonoma State students who embody what it means to be a Seawolf. From unconventional paths in attending Sonoma State to being involved in multiple campus organizations, these students have made a lasting impact on the campus community - and are leaving with lasting memories. To see complete versions of these profiles, please click on each student’s name.
Ocampo will be attending Princeton University on a full scholarship in the fall to pursue his Ph.D. in mineral physics and material science, but his path to Sonoma State was untraditional to say the least. After his freshman year in 2009 at UC Santa Barbara studying physics, Ocampo decided to pursue a career as a musician in L.A. For five years he performed with various bands and toured the United States making a living as a bassist before deciding to come back to school after realizing he wanted to study geology. A first-generation student, Ocampo was a prestigious McNair Scholar and deeply passionate about his field of study.
Solberg leaves Sonoma State as a well-known figure around campus and with a reputation for being hyper-involved. She was president of the Queer Student Alliance, participated in the school’s production of Vagina Monologues and worked in the Transfer and Transition Program as an educator helping first-and second-year students transition from high school. After graduation, Solberg hopes to continue her work advocating for the LGBTQ community by becoming a peer mentor for a LGBTQ nonprofit.
The 29-year-old Patton graduated with a degree focused on his painting ability, but his artistry was spread across campus as he became a staple for designing and creating posters and promotional material for other departments. Patton attended multiple junior colleges across California before deciding to focus on his painting. He came to SSU more than two years ago. After graduation, Patton said he hopes to find a residency that will provide studio space and funding for him to further his craft.
Saavedra is a first-generation student who was accepted into Sonoma State’s Educational Opportunity Program four years ago. After graduation, she will continue her education at SSU to pursue her master’s degree. During her time as an undergraduate, Saavedra earned multiple grants from the university for her research as a field biologist. This included her work with the American badger diet and populations of European Green crab. The San Bruno native said she wants to stay at Sonoma State because of how comfortable she is on campus.
Chatterley graduated having numerous roles on campus, including being an executive member of her sorority Alpha Delta Pi, working as a campus tour guide and most recently being president of Associated Students. After she graduates Chatterley will begin work as a traveling leadership consultant for Alpha Delta Pi. She hopes to eventually attend law school to pursue a career in criminal law.