Chapman University’s 2012 Commencement ceremonies will take place on Friday and Saturday, May 18 and 19. Each of the university’s seven schools and colleges will hold its own ceremony, either on Wilson Field (the football stadium) or on the Bert Williams Mall (the lawn in front of historic Memorial Hall).

Each ceremony will feature a commencement speaker of note, including:

  • California Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye (School of Law)
  • Chapman economics professor Don Booth (Argyros School of Business and Economics)
  • Retired Disney live entertainment director Larry Billman (College of Performing Arts)
  • Environmental activist and author Ocean Robbins (Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences)
  • Earthquake expert Dr. Lucy Jones (Schmid College of Science and Technology)
  • Santa Ana Superintendent of Schools Dr. Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana (College of Educational Studies)
  • Oscar-winning co-producer of “Titanic” and “Avatar” Jon Landau (Dodge College of Film and Media Arts)

Four honorary doctorates will also be conferred:

  • The Rev. Dr. Paul Nagano, who in 1942 as a Chapman College student was removed from the college and placed in an internment camp for Japanese Americans in Poston, Ariz., will receive an honorary Doctor of the University degree from Wilkinson College
  • Noted Laguna Beach sculptor Nicholas Hernandez will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the College of Educational Studies
  • The late Emmett Ashford, Chapman Class of 1941, who became the nation’s first black Major League Baseball umpire, will receive a posthumous honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the College of Educational Studies
  • Oscar-winning film producer Jon Landau will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Dodge College of Film and Media Arts


  • Total Number of Students Graduating (Undergraduate, Graduate and Law): 1,700
  • Number of Graduates by Field of Study: Business 340, Humanities and Social Sciences 350, Science and Technology 190, Film and Media Arts 340, Law 180, Performing Arts 100, Education 150, Physical Therapy 50
  • Number of Seats at Commencement Venues: Wilson Field 8,000; Bert Williams Mall (lawn in front of Memorial Hall) 2,000

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Ceremonies Schedule Speakers Doctorates Chapman