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40,000 people expected at USC graduation ceremonies today

May 11, 2012 |  9:01 am

USC graduation

This year’s USC graduates are getting their diplomas Friday morning in the university’s 129th commencement ceremony, which is expected to draw 40,000 people to the Los Angeles campus.

Approximately 14,000 degrees will be conferred, including nearly 1,400 doctorate degrees, either at the main ceremony in Alumni Park or one of 34 satellite ceremonies across campus.

Among those accepting degrees will be nine former USC students who were forced to abandon their studies when they were sent with their Japanese American families to internment camps during World War ll. The university if awarding them honorary degrees.

A 2009 state law led California public schools to award those degrees to both living and deceased students as part of the California Nisei College Diploma Project. The action came after the University of Washington and University of Oregon also granted honorary degrees in 2008.

Private schools, however, were not obligated to award degrees, and USC did not, offering honorary alumni status in 2008 instead.

The university announced that it would offer the honorary degrees to living Nisei students in March. Mory said a new school president and new provost along with a "very impassioned nomination" from the USC Asian American community gave the school an "opportunity to revisit the issue."

The main ceremony was to begin at 9 a.m.

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-- Bettina Boxall and Matt Stevens

Photo: USC graduates at 2011 commencement. Forty thousand people are expected to converge on campus for today's ceremonies. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

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