SF State Celebrates New Grads at 116th Commencement

Friday, May 26, 2017

SF STATE NEWS -- An SF State alumna, Nobari addressed more than 35,000 graduates and guests attending the ceremony at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. Nobari emigrated from Iran to the United States in 1978 at the age of 15. She earned a degree in Computer Science from SF State and later began working on computerized inventory management for up-and-coming clothier bebe stores, Inc. She remained with the company for more than two decades as director and vice chair, helping to build it into a retail powerhouse. In 2006, she established the Neda Nobari Foundation, which supports organizations and initiatives associated with the arts, film and education in service of social justice and cultural awareness. Her $5 million gift last year allowed the University to establish the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies, the first academic center of its kind in the United States.

"Power does not — and I will repeat this again — power does not have the right to lie and deny our democracy, and I have the greatest faith that this uncomfortable time in the history of this country will serve to define and sharpen our decency and compassion, and our love for America,” Nobari said. “That is why you, the graduates of 2017, are so very valuable, so very important, right now, to show the world what we stand for, what we are made of and the democratic ideals that we hold true. You are the future and upon your great achievements a higher, more just and enlightened world will evolve.”