FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- With all the pomp and circumstance they have earned, Fresno State's class of 2018 walked into the Save Mart Center.
More than 6,000 graduates filled the seats on the floor -- the center of attention for a crowd of thousands more.
Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro acknowledged the hard work that got them here.
"You've made many sacrifices. Whether it was preparing for an exam before or after a job or two jobs or trying to write a paper while trying to take care of a child," said Dr. Castro.
"Being really active these last two years have been really hard. It takes a toll on you but I got to be as active as I can to represent Fresno State," said Fresno State Dean's Medalist Patrick Galindo.
Galindo wore his hard work to the ceremony with so many sashes and tassels, he struggled to remember all the accomplishments they signify.
"Fresno State, social work club I'm active in, veteran's services. I'm a Marine Corps veteran," said Galindo.
Galindo does not need a bedazzled graduation cap to remember that part.
He served in Afghanistan during operation enduring freedom and suffered from PTSD and hearing loss when he came back.
He turned his pain into a passion for helping people and this ceremony marks his success in the social work program.
Galindo stood in a group of 18 deans' medalists honored for their achievements.
He got an extra reason to reach for the best earlier in the week when his wife gave birth to their first child - a baby boy.
"Now I just want to go and give it and help out as many people as I can," said Galindo.
A bold mission for one bulldog among 6,000 prepared to create a future for Fresno and the world.
Record number of diplomas handed at Fresno State