images from CSU's spring 2022 commencement
Credit: John Jirik
This composite image shows, clockwise from top left, faculty entering the Wolstein arena, CSU's President Laura Bloomberg, Ph.D., graduates receiving their degrees, graduates with their degrees, a graduate receiving his degree, Rep. Shontel Brown speaking.

CSU honors spring 2022 graduates

Cleveland State University conferred more than 2,300 degrees during morning and afternoon ceremonies.

Cleveland State University conferred more than 2,300 degrees on newly minted graduates Saturday in morning and afternoon commencement ceremonies at the Wolstein Center.

Colleges taking part in the morning ceremony were the College of Graduate Studies, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Honors College, the College of Education and Human Services, the Washkewicz College of Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs.

The afternoon ceremony honored graduates of the College of Graduate Studies, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Honors College, the Monte Ahuja College of Business, the School of Nursing and the College of Sciences and Health professions.

The keynote speaker at the morning ceremony was U.S. Rep. Shontel Brown, who told students her own story, including its ups and downs.

“The road is often unclear and uneven,” said Brown, who represents Ohio’s 11th congressional district and is chair of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. 

“But by staying true to yourself and your personal pursuits, you will make headway towards your final destination—and you will arrive stronger because of your trials and tribulations." 

Her words were directed at the students, but could well have been an introduction to the afternoon's keynote speaker. Tim Alexander is a life coach and author who recounted having the world by the horns as a student football player who could have played anywhere in the country before a car accident in 2006 left him paralyzed from the neck down.

In the years following his accident, Alexander became a motivational speaker, earned three degrees, wrote a book “Ever Faithful Ever Loyal,” became a minister and won an Emmy award.

"People are watching you, looking up to you," Alexander said. "Don't stop, winners never quit and there's still so much left to accomplish."

CSU's President Dr. Laura Bloomberg hosted both events.

“We couldn’t be more proud of your accomplishments and the spirit of perseverance that brought you to this day,” Bloomberg said.

In both ceremonies, Dr. Bloomberg referred to a quote from Eric Hoffer, a 1983 U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom award-winner. 

“’In times of great change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists,'" Dr. Bloomberg said, calling on graduates to “be always a learner.”

Caleb Palagyi, who graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Washkewicz College of Engineering was the university valedictorian at the morning ceremony.

“Most of us have been told at least once to keep moving forward and that eventually all of these difficulties will be in the rearview mirror and you can forget about them," Palagyi said. "I ask that you take the time to step back, reflect and look behind you.”

University valedictorian at the afternoon ceremony was Connor Mahon who graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics.

“Nothing happens in isolation," Mahon said. "Find your people and make your difference in the world. Nothing is missing. Look around you and give it form.”

During the afternoon exercises, CSU honored Lily Ng, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of CSU and past chair of the Chemistry Department, with a Distinguished Emeritus Faculty Honorary Degree.

Go here for more on the CSU spring 2022 Commencement.