Cultural Celebrations

Published May 23, 2019

Cultural Graduation Celebrations have been part of Cal State Long Beach’s commencement traditions for more than 30 years.

The first ceremony of its kind, honoring the campus’ African American graduates, took place in 1988. This year, the campus hosted eight cultural events, beginning with the Pacific Islander Graduation Celebration and Luau on April 27.

Cultural events resumed the weekend before Commencement Ceremonies. The Black, Pilipino and Vietnamese graduation celebrations took place on Saturday, followed by the American Indian, Cambodian and Chicano/Latino ceremonies on Sunday. The Lavender Graduation Celebration, recognizing LGBTQIA+ students, wrapped up this year’s cultural celebrations on Monday evening.


Photo Galleries

African American Celebration


Two women wearing graduation regalia and smiling at the 2019 Black Graduation Celebration

 An enthusiastic audience in the stands at the 2019 Black Graduation Celebration.

A woman participating in the 2019 Black Graduation Celebration holds her up her phone and smiles.

A women wears African dress and holds the flag of Eritrea at the 2019 Black Graduation Celebration.


About 1,400 graduates participated in this year’s cultural ceremonies, during which they and their family members celebrated their accomplishments in atmospheres filled with art, dance and music.


Pilipino Celebration


A graduate holds hands with a woman at the Pilipino Graduation Celebration.

 A woman in the audience at the Pilipino Graduation Celebration applauds, while another woman holds her hand over her heart.

 A man embraces a graduate at the Pilipino Graduation Celebration.

 A graduate and a woman stand shoulder-to-shoulder while smiling at the Pilipino Graduation Celebration.


Pacific Islander Celebration


A male dancer gestures with his arms in the air while kneeling before two female dancers at the Pacific Islander Graduation Celebration.

A dancer wearing a traditional costume performs on a floor littered with dollar bills at the Pacific Islander Graduation Celebration and Luau.

 Women wearing grass skirts dance at the Pacific Islander Graduation Celebration and Luau.

A woman wearing a lei and grass skirt dances at the Pacific Islander Graduation Celebration and Luau.


Vietnamese Celebration


 An audience cheers for costumed dancers at the Vietnamese Graduation Celebration.

 A view of two Vietnamese Graduation Celebration participants' decorated caps. One reads "Ms. Mai," and the other credits support from the graduate's mother and other people.

A smiling woman holds flowers and her certificate while another woman stands by her at the Vietnamese Graduation Celebration.

A man sitting at the end of a row of graduates attending the Vietnamese Graduation Celebration appears to be taking a photo with his cell phone.


Cambodian Celebration


Two men perform with hand drums at the Cambodian Graduation Celebration.

 A man uses his mouth to hold a large drum in the air at the Cambodian Graduation Celebration.

 Men performing with hand drums at the Cambodian Graduation Celebration.

A large group of graduates, some of whom are displaying certificates, wearing red stoles with blue trim fashioned for the Cambodian Graduation Celebration.


Lavender Celebration


Three graduates wearing elaborately-decorated caps stand side-by-side at the Lavender Graduation Celebration.

Two graduates stand side-by-side at the Lavender Graduation Celebration. The graduate on the right has magenta hair and wears artistically-designed magenta, pink, white and black eye makeup.

A view of two graduates' caps during the Lavender Graduation Celebration. The cap on the left is marked with a quote reading "The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all."

 A mariachi band performs during the Lavender Graduation Celebration.


Native American / Alaska Native Celebration


 A person wearing traditional attire in front of an eagle staff at the Native American Graduation Celebration.

A graduate shakes hands with a woman at the Native American Graduation Celebration while others on stage look on.

 An eagle staff can be seen in front of the audience attending the Native American Graduation Celebration.

A graduate embraces a woman on stage at the Native American Graduation Celebration.


Chicano-Latino Celebration


 A crowd of graduates at the Chicano/Latino Graduation Celebration. A smiling woman is at center.

 A large group of graduates standing together at the Chicano/Latino Graduation Celebration.

A woman dances while wearing a red dress with stripes of many colors during the Chicano/Latino Graduation Celebration.

Rows of graduates sit while attending the Chicano/Latino Graduation Celebration inside Walter Pyramid.