One by one, 1600 graduating students filed into Northeast Fresno's Save Mart Center Saturday. With smiles and hand-made messages on their caps, this was their moment to shine and reflect on their experience at Fresno State.
"It feels fabulous. It's just another step."
Ali Barcellos collected her degree, alongside her fiancé. Their next step is planning an October wedding. It's a process made easier thanks to a guaranteed job at his family's Los Banos farm.
"I'm just part of the few that has a job kinda lined up ready to go."
But, not everyone is as fortunate.
Shannon asked, "Are you nervous about the job prospects?"
Terrance Carter said, "Yes, I am. Job is kinda scarce, but god will bless me to find the right job."
Jackie Stoner said, "I'm a little nervous cause the economy is bad right now, but I'll work hard and get one."
Fresno State's Director of Career Services Rita Bocchinfuso-Cohen says while the job market is bleak, the class of 2011 does have reason to be optimistic.
Rita Bocchinfuso-Cohen said, "The employers are expecting to hire an increase of about 19 percent more new college graduates as compared to last year so that's a good positive sign."
A positive sign, Fresno State President, John Welty reiterated as he encouraged the 100th graduating class to set the tone, for the next one that follows.
John Welty said, "As president of this university, I'm so proud that you, all of you are Fresno state. Congratulations. You may move your tassels to the left... applause."
A traffic advisory went out to students and their families because Highway 168 was closed due to a bike race. But, the freeway opened up earlier than expected, and there were no major delays for people trying to get to Fresno State.