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Fresno State Throws Huge Chicano/Latino Graduation Ceremony With Mariachi And Folklorico

Culture & Community By O. DELGADO
Fresno State Throws Huge Chicano/Latino Graduation Ceremony With Mariachi And Folklorico

Fresno State's Chicano/Latino Commencement Celebration had the Save Mart Center arena at capacity with over 13,000 people.

Fresno State has been hosting its Chicano/Latino Commencement Ceremony for 43 years, and 2019 turned out to be the biggest year yet, with a record 1,140 graduates walking, another 80 on the waitlist, and 13,276 people in attendance, with hundreds more waiting outside.

"Those are Bruno Mars numbers," said university First Lady Mary Castro.

The event, held at the Save Mart Center, is the largest of its kind in California and likely the nation, easily dwarfing every other graduation ceremony held on campus the same weekend.

And it's no wonder the arena was packed, the event isn't just a commencement ceremony, it's a celebration of Chicano/Latino excellence, achievement, and culture, complete with music and dancing.

Mariachi Fresno State played La Marcha de Zacatecas as the 2019 graduates entered and played them out with the traditional farewell song, Las Golondrinas.


The grads and their friends and families were also treated to a folklorico performance by Los Danzantes de Aztlán.

Three of the danzantes were also graduating!

Chicanos and Latinos have a unique history in this nation. Many are first or second generation, the children or grandchildren of immigrants, the first in our family to attend and graduate from college, while others have been here for generations.

Chicano/Latino-dedicated ceremonies are so hugely popular because they acknowledge and celebrate those experiences: the family history, the sacrifices made, and the deep cultural roots that motivate us and keep us grounded.

Also, we just prefer events with mariachis. Felicidades Class of 2019!