45th Annual Black Baccalaureate Graduation Ceremony takes place May 9

Black students from any major are invited to the celebration

Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Graduating students celebrate during Black Baccalaureate Graduation Ceremony
In 2023, 130 graduates earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees participated in the Black Baccalaureate Graduation Ceremony. (SDSU)

In its 45th year, the Black Baccalaureate Ceremony uplifts Black graduating seniors in a special ceremony that is dedicated to giving family and friends a place to celebrate each student’s outstanding achievements. 

Ubuntu: “I am because we are” is an African proverb that speaks to how this ceremony, hosted by San Diego State University’s Department of Africana Studies, celebrates Black students from any major.

This year’s theme is “Sankofa: Learning from the past, living for the future.”

“This ceremony is the culminating community celebration of a personal milestone for each individual graduate,” said Adisa Alkebulan, chair, Department of Africana Studies. ”But it is also a celebration of the love, support, and sacrifice of family and community. Participants of the Black Baccalaureate have cemented their legacies at San Diego State University in communal celebration before the world. 

Africana Studies impress upon participants that it is their obligation to use what they’ve learned and experienced at SDSU to not only bring about individual growth, but also about laying a foundation for future generations to stand upon.”

In 2023, 130 graduates earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees participated in the ceremony. The Lincoln High School venue seats 799 and it was near capacity with graduates, family, and friends.

The entertainment this year features a performance by the SDSU Diamonds, a majorette team focused on high energy HBCU style dance and a performance of the Black National Anthem by Van Angelo, a graduating MFA student.

More insights about the event: 

“The Black Baccalaureate is an instrumental piece of the Black community in San Diego. The ceremony serves as a beautiful space to celebrate our Black scholars and have their excellence be affirmed by the community. The Baccalaureate honors the legacy of our ancestors and their achievements of the past, while also inspiring our young black graduates to see themselves in building the future.”


“I see in the faces of our graduates that this celebration and our presence there personalizes their achievement in ways beyond that of the larger commencement ceremony. I can think of no more meaningful way of celebrating the achievement of graduation for SDSU’s Black students than the Black Baccalaureate Ceremony! ”



“Graduation is a significant achievement for many of us, as it was impossible for generations before us. We represent their unyielding commitment to the struggle. The Black Baccalaureate is not just an event, it is a gathering of community, a celebration of culture, and a testament to the resilience and achievements of our Black students.”


 The ceremony takes place 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, May 9 at Lincoln High School, 4777 Imperial Ave., San Diego, CA 92113.

Student registration deadline to attend is May 1. Details are here.

To assist with the student fund that helps provide Kente stoles, offsets student registration fees, and covers other related costs, DONATE HERE

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