SF State Honors Class of 2016 Graduates Richard Polote Jr., Aliyah Shaheed

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
SF BAY VIEW -- San Francisco State University held its 115th commencement today at AT&T Park, with a crowd of 35,000 on hand to cheer for the 7,200 graduates in the class of 2016. Undergraduate speaker Richard Polote Jr. is a decorated U.S. Air Force veteran and received a bachelor’s degree in Africana studies. Like more than one-third of SF State students, he is the first member of his family to attend college. He is working on a documentary film about the lynching of African American men in the Southern U.S. since 2000. Aliyah Shaheed is the undergraduate hood recipient for the College of Liberal & Creative Arts. A Communication Studies major and Africana studies minor, Aliyah and her debate team partner made SF State history this year when they went head-to-head with the nation’s top-ranked, undefeated debate team from Harvard — and won. She has been recognized as the top first-year college debate competitor in the country.