SDSU reaches 500K living alumni

SDSU’s class of 2024 was honored for their part in contributing to the 127-year-old university’s remarkable milestone

Tuesday, May 14, 2024
SDSU grads smile for the camera during the 2024 Commencement Ceremonies at Viejas Arena
From left to right: Master of Arts in Education graduates Gary Brown, Andrea Muñoz, Anna Balcazar and Cristal Arredondo. An estimated 11,796 graduates marched across the stage during SDSU's 2024 Commencement at Viejas Arena over the weekend. (SDSU)

Marking another milestone during its 2024 Commencement, San Diego State University reached a landmark achievement: the institution has surpassed 500,000 living alumni.

In commemorating the moment, university leaders paused midway during its nine ceremonies at Viejas Arena and one ceremony at SDSU Imperial Valley to honor the estimated 11,796 graduates adding to the now more than 500,000 SDSU alumni worldwide. 

"Before we proceed with the conferral of degrees, I must share a special acknowledgment,” said Jeff Roberts, dean of SDSU College of Sciences. "With the 2024 graduating class, San Diego State University has officially surpassed 500,000 living alumni. This class, each of you, will be forever remembered for helping the university reach this important milestone."

Over three days, SDSU held nine Commencement ceremonies in San Diego. It also held a ceremony at SDSU Imperial Valley and ceremonies in Mexico – both in Mexicali and Tijuana – for transborder graduates and their families. 

“This class holds a special place in SDSU’s proud alumni tradition, as it will be forever known as the class that grows our family of Aztec alumni to more than half a million,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre

“This also marks a booming period of success among our students, faculty and staff, and our university as a whole,” de la Torre said. “We are graduating students at record levels, growing our research, and driving community change and impact. Every one of the students who crossed the stage this weekend is now a key part of this legacy.”

The class of 2024 joins generations of Aztecs and notable alumni who have become pioneers in their fields, including: first Latina astronaut Ellen Ochoa (‘80), who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom this month; the late NFL linebacker turned Emmy-nominated actor Carl Weathers; radio and television personality Art Linkletter (‘34); baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, Sr.; and Costco co-founder James D. Sinegal (‘59).

“I honestly don’t think I’d be an astronaut today if I hadn’t gone here,” Ochoa said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Ellen Ochoa Pavilion last May.

Last February, Weathers, who was a featured guest at the President’s Lecture Series event, said: “I experienced a greater degree of comfort on this campus than I can remember almost any place at that time in my life. I’m really so happy to be associated with SDSU.”

Since SDSU’s founding in 1897 as a teaching institution in downtown San Diego, then known as The Normal School, the university has expanded its physical and academic footprint offering programs ranging from business and engineering to the arts and sciences. 

"As we celebrate this extraordinary milestone of 500,000 living alumni, we honor not just a number but a legacy of excellence, innovation, and impact,” said Stephanie Dathe, SDSU Alumni executive director. "Every alumni is part of this significant achievement, showing the world what it means to be an 'Aztec for Life.'"

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