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California Lutheran University 2023 Commencement (Photo: Tracie Karasik)

California Lutheran University Commencement Celebrates 1,031 Graduates

The 61st annual ceremonies will take place May 10

After pursuing their passions and discovering their purpose through academic study, California Lutheran University’s Class of 2024 has reached a coveted goal: graduation. Cal Lutheran will celebrate its 1,031 graduates at the 2024 commencement ceremonies on May 10 in William Rolland Stadium on the Thousand Oaks campus.

The 61st annual Undergraduate Commencement at 8:30 a.m. will honor 604 traditional undergraduates and 44 in the Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals program. Graduate Commencement at 2:30 p.m. will honor 383 students, including 358 earning master’s degrees and 25 receiving doctorates.

“The commencement theme ‘Stay Curious’ calls these graduates to remember that probing questions are more important than sound-bite answers, complex issues are worthy of examination and that courage and truth may live somewhere in the messy middle rather than on the far ends of any particular spectrum,” said Cal Lutheran President Lori E. Varlotta. “We believe our graduates will be able to model this type of curiosity as they travel the next leg of their personal and vocational journeys.”

Mia Deck, Associated Students of California Lutheran University Government (ASCLUG) president, and Yulissa Alvarado Morales, Graduate and Professional Student Council chair, will welcome graduates at their ceremonies. Morales will give her remarks in Spanish.

The featured undergraduate ceremony speakers are Anthony Jay Garay and Jessica Kelly Stratton.

Garay is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry and molecular biology with a minor in public health. He is a serving member of the University Honors Program and a scholar of the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. He has served as senate director to ASCLUG and has been an assistant to the chemistry department. A first-generation Latino student, Garay looks forward to starting a healthcare career grounded in compassion and scientific rigor.

Stratton is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. She is graduating with honors and has consistently made the Dean’s List. In addition to her academic pursuits, this mother of five who has a full-time job has been a dedicated member of the University Wind Ensemble for two years. She plans to pursue a Master of Science degree in counseling and pupil personnel services at Cal Lutheran to become a high school counselor.

Amanda Castellanos-Rodriguez is the graduate ceremony featured speaker. An Oxnard native, Castellanos-Rodriguez is the second oldest of four siblings and the eldest daughter of parents who emigrated from Mexico. At the University of California, Santa Barbara, she majored in sociology and minored in professional writing; she earned a certificate in journalism. Castellanos-Rodriguez pursued a Master of Science degree in counseling and pupil personnel services at Cal Lutheran. With five years of service in the education sector, she is excited to begin her journey as a K-12 school counselor.

The class of 2024 reflects the diversity of Cal Lutheran, where 40% of the students are Latine. While a majority of Cal Lutheran’s graduating student body hails from California, the university has students from throughout the U.S. and the world. The top three states are Washington, Arizona and Hawaii. For international students, the top three countries include India, Austria and Mexico. Cal Lutheran is located at 60 W. Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks. For more information, visit or email