College of San Mateo ended the spring semester with its 2023 Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 26. That afternoon, College Heights Stadium welcomed hundreds of graduates for the awarding of 1,475 degrees and certificates earned by CSM’s Class of 2023. The stands were packed with friends and family members cheering them on as the proud graduates entered the stadium and took their seats on the field.

The ceremony opened with greetings and introductions from CSM President Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza, followed by a welcome from SMCCCD Trustee Mike Guingona. Retiring Photography Professor Richard Lohmann took to the podium to acknowledge the hard work and support of 20 recent CSM retirees, including faculty, staff, and one administrator. Vice President of Administrative Services Anthony Djedi then shared details about the graduating class before inviting outgoing Associated Students of College of San Mateo President Andrea Morales to the stage to express gratitude and introduce the student speaker, Rahmeh Alzoubi.

Alzoubi shared her story as an immigrant from Jordan whose family understood the potential impact and brighter future that could be attained through education. Leaving their home country and relatives behind, her family members supported each other to achieve their collective and individual goals. Alzoubi concluded by reminding the graduates that they are ambassadors to a beautiful and bright future.

Graduates heard next from keynote speaker Amourence Lee, mayor of the City of San Mateo. Lee spoke to the enthusiastic audience about fear, perseverance, and moving from crisis into transformation through the liberation of our minds. She encouraged the audience to use their collective courage to lead and light a new path that unites rather than divides.

SMCCCD Board of Trustees President Lisa Petrides announced the conferral of the degrees and certificates, followed by graduates proudly crossing the stage as their names were called to receive their degrees or certificates. After the awards were conferred, the commencement attendees gathered in College Center’s Bayview Dining Room for a magnificent reception. Friends and family enjoyed refreshments, danced, took photos, and celebrated the hard work, achievements, and success of CSM’s Class of 2023.

Watch the recorded livestream of CSM’s 2023 Commencement Ceremony.


CSM’s Class of 2023

Total Degrees & Certificates Awarded 1,475
Graduates with Honors 109
First-Generation College Graduates 597
Promise Scholar Graduates 249
Veteran Graduates 47
International Student Graduates 30
DACA/Dreamers/AB540 Graduates* 32
Foster Youth Graduates 3
Oldest Graduate 68
Youngest Graduate 17

* immigrant students