Claremont Graduate University’s
94th Commencement Ceremony

Saturday, May 15, 2021, at 2:00 pm (Pacific Time)

CGU celebrates its graduates! Student success is the number one goal of the administration, faculty, and staff at Claremont Graduate University.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, our annual in-person commencement celebration will once again be held virtually. Please join President Len Jessup and Provost Patricia Easton as they host a livestream commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 15, 2021, at 2:00 pm (Pacific Time). Family, friends, and the CGU community are invited to join in this virtual event as we celebrate our students’ achievements.

Following the commencement celebration, graduates and their guests are encouraged to join their school’s conferral ceremony and reception. Return here on May 15 at 2:00 pm (PT) for access to the livestream commencement celebration and for instructions on joining the school conferrals and receptions.

Once we can be together safely, Claremont Graduate University intends to host a celebratory event where doctoral and MFA graduates will be hooded, and we can laud every graduate in person.


Celebrate the Classes of 2020 & 2021!

Whether you are emailing, texting, posting on social media, using Zoom, or even placing a sign in your front yard, we’re here to help you celebrate your CGU graduate! Check back soon for a celebration kit you can download and use to commemorate the occasion.

2021 Commencement Honorees & Speakers

Honorary Degree Recipient

Roberta Jenkins
Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa

Roberta JenkinsA passionate advocate of educational equity and access, Roberta Jenkins believes in the power of education to give hope not only to today’s young minds but to future generations as well. To underscore this commitment, she and her late husband founded The Matthew and Roberta Jenkins Family Foundation, which provides scholarships to students, colleges, and institutions.

The oldest of seven children, Jenkins was born and raised on her family’s dairy farm in North Augusta, South Carolina. She attended Tuskegee University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in institutional management. It was also there that she met Matthew, her future husband. Jenkins finished her graduate studies at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital and completed the California State University, Long Beach meeting planners certificate program. In 1974, she and her husband created SDD Enterprises, a real estate investment and property management firm with businesses in eight states.

A long-time resident of Long Beach, Jenkins serves on numerous organizations’ boards and committees, including Teachers for Urban Schools and the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She is the recipient of awards from organizations including the Tuskegee University Alumni Association, the NAACP, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, the United Negro College Fund, and many others.

Jenkins and her husband have enjoyed a long relationship with CGU, including his service as a former member of the Board of Trustees and hers as a member of the School of Educational Studies’ Board of Advisors. They endowed a fellowship to support black students in any discipline. Their service to the university was honored with the creation of the Jenkins Courtyard, located in front of the Drucker School of Management.

Commencement Student Speaker

Nicole A. Dawson, Master of Business Administration

Nicole DawsonNicole A. Dawson is receiving her MBA today with concentrations in supply chain management and marketing. She received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Spelman College, a member of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities.

Dawson started an IT career at General Electric Healthcare as a project manager in several of the company’s organizations, including Global Supply Chain (for which she received the Above and Beyond Award for her leadership in process improvement). This summer, she joins Apple as a new product introductions operations program manager as part of the company’s Beats team.

At CGU, Dawson has served as a Toyota Supply Chain Fellow, a graduate student ambassador, current president of the Claremont Colleges student chapter of INFORMS, past president of the Venture Capital Club, and a member of the Supply Chain Management Association. With the Graduate Student Council, she has chaired both the Student Affairs and the Elections committees and is an elected representative to the Drucker School of Management. She is also a member of the committee responsible for selection of the 2022 honorary degree recipient.

Dawson is a proud member of an extended CGU family: Her mother, Juanita (MS, ’95), is an alumna and current doctoral student in the Center for Information Systems & Technology; and her brother, Quincy (MA, ’20), is an alumnus of the School of Educational Studies.


Alternative Commencement Student Speaker

Emily Beglarian, Master of Public Health

Emily BeglarianEmily Beglarian is a 2021 graduate from Claremont Graduate University’s School of Community and Global Health (SCGH), with a Master of Public Health with an emphasis in Applied Biostatistics and Epidemiology. Beglarian graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, in 2018.

Although Beglarian began her studies with a general interest in public health, she found a passion for and has devoted much of her master’s work to addressing and dismantling inequity. As the SCGH Student Association Board president, she moderated talks in the Racism in Public Health talk series, which discussed racism and racial inequity in various sectors of public health. Emily also served on the SCGH Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and worked on multiple projects to further equity within SCGH and beyond.

Beglarian is a Randall Lewis Fellow and has held an internship at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) in the Active Transportation department. During her time at SCAG, Beglarian worked with the organization’s Equity Working Group and collaborated with other employees on SCAG’s equity initiatives.

Beglarian is also passionate about teaching and educating others about public health. While earning her master’s at CGU, she served as a Teaching Assistant for two courses and completed a college teaching certificate through the Preparing Future Faculty program. Beglarian plans to begin a doctorate program in Epidemiology this fall and hopes to work at a university in the future.

Beglarian will be a featured speaker at the SCGH conferral ceremony.


Information for Graduates

For information about participation, regalia, deadlines, and more, visit the Graduates Commencement page.



For more information about 2021 Commencement, please email