Thousands enjoy ASU commencement under mostly dry skies

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About 5,200 students, and thousands of their relatives and friends, gathered in Sun Devil stadium for the 2017 commencement ceremony. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) About 5,200 students, and thousands of their relatives and friends, gathered in Sun Devil stadium for the 2017 commencement ceremony. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz hailed Arizona State University as the nation's "largest and most innovative" university Monday night during the 2017 commencement ceremony. 

The billionaire businessman said ASU graduates were part of the "best-prepared generation in the history of our country."

Schultz urged the roughly 5,200 students assembled inside Sun Devil Stadium to summon their passion and curiosity, and to lead with humility.

Thousands of relatives and friends took in the sea of maroon caps and gowns under blustery but mostly dry skies.

A light rain began to fall only after the stadium had mostly emptied out. 

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Derek StaahlDerek Staahl is an Emmy Award-winning reporter and fill-in anchor who loves covering stories that matter most to Arizona families.

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Derek Staahl

This once-uncompromising "California guy" got his first taste of Arizona in 2015 while covering spring training baseball for his former station. The trip spanned just three days, but Derek quickly decided Phoenix should be his next address. He joined CBS 5 and 3TV four months later, in August 2015. Before packing his bags for the Valley of the Sun, Derek spent nearly four years at XETV in San Diego, where he was promoted to Weekend Anchor and Investigative Reporter. Derek chaired the Saturday and Sunday 10 p.m. newscasts, which regularly earned the station's highest ratings for a news program each week. Derek’s investigative reporting efforts into the Mayor Bob Filner scandal in 2013 sparked a "governance crisis" for the city of San Diego and was profiled by the region’s top newspaper. Derek broke into the news business at WKOW-TV in Madison, WI. He wrote, shot, edited, and presented stories during the week, and produced newscasts on the weekends. By the end of his stint, he was promoted to part-time anchor on WKOW’s sister station, WMSN. Derek was born in Los Angeles and was named the “Undergraduate Broadcast Journalism Student of the Year” in his graduating class at USC. He also played quads in the school’s famous drumline. When not reporting the news, Derek enjoys playing drumset, sand volleyball, and baseball.

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