Nohemi Gonzalez became the first person in her family to graduate college on Thursday morning as her mother and stepfather accepted the Cal State University Long Beach (CSULB) diploma on behalf of the young woman — who was murdered in the November 13 Islamic terror attacks in Paris.
Just 23 years old, the senior industrial design major was studying abroad in Paris at the time of the attacks, in which 130 people were killed.
Her mother, Beatriz Gonzalez expressed the deep sadness that hit her when she remembers her daughters achievements, and recalled the “wonderful person that she was” according to ABC 7. Nohemi Gonzalez’s name was the first to be read at the commencement proceedings.
University President Jane Close Conoley posted this photo of her presenting the diploma to Gonzalez’s mother Beatriz:
— Jane Close Conoley (@PresConoley) May 19, 2016
Gonzalez was also honored at the May 3 CSULB Alumni Award Ceremony with the Outstanding Graduate Award in the College of the Arts. The university’s paper, the Daily 49er, reported that her mother expressed how proud she was that her daughter was honored with the award, as she accepted it along with Gonzalez’s brother and stepfather José.
— Daily 49er (@daily49er) May 5, 2016
— Megan Ono (@meganono_) May 5, 2016
A KCRW radio blog posted a message that Gonzalez wrote about herself in the course of her studies:
“My name is Nohemi Gonzalez and I feel very fortunate to have found Design so early in my life. . . I am Mexican American and I also happen to be first generation born in the United States. I grew up in Whittier, California, and had a very hardworking mother that raised me to be extremely independent. If I had to describe myself in a few words I would say I am very high spirited, clean, orderly and self driven.”
Paris Islamic terror attack suspect Salah Abdeslam has refused to answer questions in the French investigation. He was arrested in the Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek in March. Just days before, investigators into the November Islamic terror attacks raided a Brussels location that led to the discovery of weapons, ammunition and an Islamic State flag.
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