Every May and June, the boisterous boom of hundreds of thousands of voices from CSU graduates, family, friends, faculty and staff fill the courtyards and buildings of the 23 CSU campuses throughout the state.

Among them, are cheers from students who have overcome adverse circumstances to earn their degree, faculty members who have given a voice to traditionally underrepresented populations and staff members who have a hand in creating timeless memories for CSU alumni. Below are some of their stories:

Chinonyerem Kamalu: Chinonyerem KamaluInspired to come to Sacramento State after hearing President Gonzalez speak at Super Sunday, Kamalu graduated this past May as a President’s Award winner. Kamalu came to the United States from Nigeria determined to carry on her father’s love of education, and has thrived in her academics as well as become a leader in numerous social work organizations.

Joely Proudfit: Joely ProudfitFor six years, Proudfit has been committed to advising and mentoring American Indian students at CSU San Marcos and helping them achieve their personal milestones. With only 12 percent of American Indians earning college degrees nationwide, Proudfit has dedicated herself to increase the recruitment and retention levels of American Indian students.

Lisa McMullen: Lisa McMullenAs director of alumni relations, McMullen has been a driving force in upholding CSU Stanislaus’s unique tradition of reuniting Golden Grads — those who graduated 50 years prior. This year, she helped bring together the Class of 1964 to help remember their special graduation day.

Read additional profiles at CSU’s 100,000 Graduates Strong website.