Traditions like no other invade the campuses of Cal State L.A. and USC
This past weekend, I had the privilege to be a part of two running traditions: a fairly young one in east Los Angeles and an old veteran one in south Los Angeles.
On Friday, April 29 Cal State L.A. celebrated its 5th annual Honors Convocation at the university gymnasium.
Students with a high grade point average, 3.4 or higher, in their studies, who earned a scholarship, or who is a participant in a university recognized origination with exceptional grades were invited to attend the event with their family and friends.
More than 800 attendees were present as live processional music played by Cal State L.A.’s band led students, their guests, professors of all academic colleges, librarians, and facility staffs into the gymnasium.
The event’s speaker included President James M. Rosser and keynote speaker Emanuel Brady, Jr., Vice President of Information Technology, Raytheon Company, Space and Airborne Systems. Brady’s speech highlighted the sentimental theme of never giving up despite one’s struggle to succeed towards a goal, and never forgetting who or what had helped you become the person you are today.
After Brady’s speech, professors representing different colleges took the stage and asked that each group of students rise so to have their achievements acknowledged by their peers and the audience in the crowd.
Shortly after, students were asked to join their peers in their college to receive their certificate in the assigned location on campus. As an English major in the Arts and Letter college, I was located at the State Playhouse.
Despite the event’s short history as indicated by its annual number, the tradition of taking the time and effort to acknowledge the student’s high academic achievements, nevertheless, can be felt by seeing the university’s President, professors, and librarians in their cap and gowns, symbolizing the value that comes from higher learning achievements.
Speaking of the symbolism on the value from higher learning, the campus of USC, held the 16th annual Los Angeles Festival of Books.
More than 140,000 attendees participated in the two days event (April 30 and May 1) where live music, author book signings, children storytelling and other open workshops, and variety of book sales all took place within the walls and grounds of the old campus.
As I took the time to walk and see the event on campus, I felt a sweeping sentiment tradition emerging from the reputations of the USC’s campus and the Book Festival event.
Both traditions, including the one at Cal State L.A. has the same symbolic signs that points towards the direction of learning to enjoy the positive aspect of learning and to spread that joy onto others around us – if that is established, I believe another tradition will emerge from all these other ones, which is to create a sense of community where everyone is welcomed to join in.