Members of the Macias family, from San Jose, waited in the stands on tenterhooks, eager to spot graduating senior Oscar Macias Jr. as he entered Memorial Stadium in black cap and gown.
They hoisted a large, custom-printed poster covered with photos of Oscar. “Muchas Felicidades en tu Graduación,” it read.
“I’m so proud of that kid. He’s the first in the family to graduate from university,” said his father, Oscar Sr. “That’s how big this is for me.”
It was a big day, too, for 25,000 others there to cheer and photograph — under a gray sky well-suited to picture taking — some 4,700 new Berkeley graduates at the campuswide commencement, which featured a keynote from Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.
In an address evoking laughter and tears by turns, Sandberg spoke publicly for the first time about the sudden death of her husband just over a year ago. Build resilience to draw upon “not just on the easy days, like today, but on the hard ones, when you will need it,” she advised.
“You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience,” Sandberg said. “It’s a muscle. You can build it up.”
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