Top honors to Nelly Lau and Ben Fong-Torres at SFSU commencement

At the 102nd commencement of San Francisco State University May 24, 2003, Nellly Lau, a top honor studentin electrical engineering, spoke as student representative. Nelly Lau had several words of advice for her classmates. First, don't be limited by society's stereotype and she wants to be a role model for women in science. Second, learning is like rowing upstream, borrowing from a Chinese proverb. If you stop rowing, you are bound to go backwards. The
Nelly Lau
third advice might be an answer for a world of tragic events in recent years. "Almost all intentional tragedies are a result of misunderstanding, selfishness and hatred. We must resolve conflicts in a civilized way, with communication, compromise and compassion," said Lau. Ms.Lau, a first-generation Chinese American and resident of San Francisco's Richmond District, will graduate with an academic Triple Crown. Not only is she this year's student commencement speaker and Hood Recipient for the College of Science Engineering, but the 22-year-old community-service junkie also leaves the University with a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship in electrical engineering, one of only 46 awarded in the nation. Lau will use the fellowship, which pays full tuition and living expenses at the graduate school of her choice, to enter the doctoral program in electrical engineering at Stanford University.

San Francisco resident Ben Fong-Torres received the honor of Alumnus of the Year. Fong-Torres, a writer and editor for Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s and '80s who has interviewed hundreds of musicians and actors, entertained the crowd with stories of his days on campus in the 1960s.

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