Convocation Kicks Off Family Weekend 2022 At Dominican

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Communications graduate Valerie Jane Chua  ’08 was the Convocation keynote speaker in Angelico Concert Hall at Dominican University of California October 7 to kick off an exciting and fun-filled Family Weekend 2022.

Valerie, named recipient of the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award at Alumni Weekend in 2015, is program manager for Education and Awareness at Meta and recently became a board member for Women In Cybersecurity. She graduated from Dominican with degrees in communications, journalism, and marketing plus humanities/humanistic studies with an emphasis on social and cultural studies.

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, Dominican’s Convocation was held in-person indoors. 

Family Weekend began on Penguin Field with a Dominican faculty/staff slow-pitch softball game versus Dominican students and ends on October 8 at 7 p.m. with a Penguins’ volleyball team match in the Conlan Center, the final of three Dominican Athletics events on the day.

For Convocation, check-in started at 3 p.m. at Angelico Hall. It celebrated Dominican’s outstanding students. It recognized new students admitted with honors, and continuing students who have earned honors status while at Dominican. The ceremony also included the traditional presentation of the 2026 Class Shield by ASDU President Jennifer Borromeo. The shield was designed by nursing major Priscilla Sitorus '24.

The President’s Reception followed on Meadowlands Hall Lawn and provided an opportunity to meet students, families, faculty, and staff, and enjoy light refreshments. The reception, hosted by Dominican President Nicola Pitchford, took place outdoors.

On Saturday, Family Weekend continued with a welcome and check-in on Meadowlands Hall Lawn at 9 a.m. followed by “Penguin Panel,” a presentation in the Meadowlands Hall outdoor classroom featuring Dominican speakers highlighting what the University has accomplished in the community and how it is helping students, faculty, and staff thrive in the campus environment.

At 10:30 a.m. Family Weekend’s Saturday activities continued with a Student Life Scavenger Hunt – Dominican’s version of The Amazing Race – at various locations on campus. It was a chance for all to break codes, solve riddles, and complete challenges to unlock the secrets of the campus. At each stop participants learned about how Dominican supports students' well-being.

 The Student Life Scavenger Hunt was followed by an outdoor picnic lunch from Caleruega Dining Hall Plaza. Attendees grabbed a packaged picnic basket, chose a comfortable spot to sit and waved down President Pitchford as she drove by on a cookie cart.

Dominican student-athletes took the stage in the afternoon between a Homecoming tailgate party – Chilly’s Fall Fest – in the Conlan Center parking lot when fans enjoyed music, games, food and wine as alumni, parents, students, and families came together to celebrate what it means to be a Penguin.

Chilly’s Fall Fest followed the Dominican women’s Pacific West Conference soccer match with Biola University at noon and the Dominican men’s Pac West soccer match with Biola at 2:30 p.m. Both matches were at Kennelly Field with free admission for fans with a Family Weekend Penguin Athletics Passport.

Family Weekend concluded with the Penguins’ volleyball match with Stanislaus State in the Conlan Center Saturday evening.

For more information about Convocation/Family Weekend 2022 at Dominican, email

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