By Madison Schultz | Wednesday, May 12, 2021
IVCBA, Sierra Nevada University's 51st Commencement by IVCBA's Madison Schultz

On Saturday, May 15 at 10 am, Sierra Nevada University will be holding the 51st Commencement Ceremony in person for both the class of 2020 and class of 2021 graduates on the Patterson Lawn. Although this event will be smaller than the years past, SNU is excited to bring the traditional commencement ceremony back to campus for graduates, and the school has an exciting list of events planned to fully celebrate the success of the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021. 

To start off the graduation week celebration, SNU is holding their annual spring formal event, in person, on Wednesday, May 12 for all graduating students. This ‘Cottagecore Spring Formal’ event will be taking place inside the beautiful Hyatt’s Lakeside Ballroom. The event will begin at 5:45 pm and includes a catered dinner from Lone Eagle Grille, an open bar, and even a live comedy show for graduates to relax, enjoy, and celebrate with their classmates the end of their college careers. 

SNU will also be hosting their annual Commencement Awards Ceremony for students that have received awards for their academic successes during their college career. The Awards Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 14 at 2 pm on the Patterson Lawn, and is held at limited capacity. Award recipients are able to RSVP up two guests to attend this event in-person, and this ceremony is only available to SNU students who have been notified that they are eligible to attend. 

Then, Saturday is the big day for SNU graduates, as it’s the day that all graduating students are able to celebrate their successes, in person. SNU’s annual Commencement ceremony will be taking place in person this year for graduates who would like to attend, and each graduating student is able to bring up to two guests to watch the in-person graduation. For those that aren’t able to attend in-person, SNU will also be hosting a livestream for other friends and family members to watch from afar. The Commencement ceremony begins at 10 am for all graduating students and will include a speech from SNU’s Valedictorian nominee Kayla Heidenreich as well as a speech from Commencement Speaker Richard Bangs, who has earned the title as “the father of modern adventure travel.” SNU graduate students from the class of 2020 are also welcome to attend to physically walk across the stage, as SNU’s 2020 Commencement was forcibly online due to 2020 Covid-19 restrictions. 

To fully celebrate SNU’s graduates, pivotal figures from the university who have molded SNU students will be in attendance from each department. Below are some of the faculty members from various academic areas that will be in attendance of this exciting event to celebrate the class of 2020 and 2021’s successes. 

1. Dr. Rob Valli: SNU President, Professor of Technology Management 

a. Valli’s work in academia has focused on innovation and entrepreneurship, which are some of the core values that SNU embodies. His work also encompasses an emphasis on cross-disciplinary studies programs and global management,

bringing in the opportunity for flexibility for students to have a one-of-a-kind, unique college experience. 

2. Jonathan Breiter, MBA: Assistant Professor of Business, Harold Walter Siebens Chair-Entrepreneurship at Sierra Nevada University 

a. Business Faculty Member Jonathan Breiter brings 40 years of business knowledge and successes to SNU students and other faculty. His experience ranges from branding, marketing, licensing, retail, e-commerce relations, manufacturing, and product development. Breiter is a seasoned business veteran, bringing in the experience perspective to SNU business students. 

3. Rosie Hackett: Dean of Faculty, Director of Outdoor Adventure Leadership a. Students that are a part of the famous Outdoor Adventure Leadership program at SNU know that the face behind such an innovative and creative program is Rosie Hackett. Hackett has dedicated 20+ years to field instruction, curriculum design, environmental stewardship, and leadership development; making her an expert in all things outside. Not only is Hackett the face of the ODAL program at SNU, but is also the Dean of Faculty at SNU. 

4. Katie Zanto: Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies 

a. Many students decide to go to SNU because of the opportunities of the interdisciplinary studies program: a creative educational program that allows students to showcase multiple areas of interest. Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies Katie Zanto works towards motivating her students to get involved in the 

community that they’re a part of in interactive classes such as Service Learning and Senior Portfolio, which make for an incredibly unique and hands-on college experience. 

Other SNU faculty members will be in attendance, celebrating the graduation of students from all undergraduate programs. 

Congratulations to the Sierra Nevada University graduates!