December graduates to be celebrated at ceremony this Sunday

ATTENTION: Reporters covering higher education; weekend assignment, photo and broadcast news desks

WHAT: A campus-wide ceremony at the University of California, Berkeley, for December graduates. More than 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students are set to receive diplomas this semester. About 400 graduates are expected to participate in Sunday’s event, and at least 4,000 tickets have been distributed to the graduates and their families and friends. This fall semester, about 1,850 UC Berkeley undergraduates and 1,100 graduate students will earn degrees, according to the campus’s Office of the Registrar. No diplomas will be awarded at the ceremony. Tickets are required.

WHEN: This Sunday, Dec. 16, at 1 p.m.

WHERE: Walter A. Haas Jr., Pavilion on the central UC Berkeley campus.

WHO: Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau will deliver welcome remarks.

  • The keynote speaker will be Maz Jobrani, a 1993 UC Berkeley alumnus and Iranian-American actor and comedian whose “Axis of Evil” group explores Islamophobia and has appeared on Comedy Central. Jobrani, who studied political science and Italian at UC Berkeley, has appeared on “The Colbert Report,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and NPR’s “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me.”
  • The student speaker will be Bianca Davoodian, who is graduating this month with a degree in psychology. A teacher of Assyrian culture, Davoodian is cofounder of Campus Awakening, a Christian organization.