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'A region's dream'
CSU Stanislaus Dean of Students Ronald Noble takes a selfie at the beginning of Thursday's commencement ceremony and encourages graduates to do the same in hopes of "breaking the Internet." - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

Times are tough and jobs don't grow on trees. These sentiments are something that many in the Central Valley know first-hand. When California State University, Stanislaus President Joseph Sheley echoed these hard truths on Thursday morning at the first of three ceremonies celebrating the university's 55th commencement, he did it not to discourage, but to inspire the recent graduates to stay focused on their goals.

"This is a campus that holds a region's dream," said Sheley.

That dream was made even more clear when Sheley shared that he was the first person in his family to receive a college education and asked those graduates in the same position to stand. Close to half of the graduates in attendance stood, illustrating the impact the university has already made in the region.

A total of 2,517 students will graduate from CSU Stanislaus this year, including 2,068 undergrads and 449 receiving graduate degrees.

For a list of all local graduates, see the Turlock Journal's 2015 Graduation special section in the June 6 newspaper.