Colleges honor graduates with slate of esteemed speakers

The Claremont Colleges will host graduation ceremonies Saturday, ?May 12 and Sunday, May 13. Here’s a guide to the festivities:

Claremont Graduate University’s 91st Commencement Ceremony is set for Saturday, May 12 from 9 a.m. to noon at Mudd Quadrangle, 170 E. 10th Stt. The commencement speaker is Daniel E. Walker, a filmmaker, scholar, social entrepreneur and public speaker whose films include When Roosters Crow, Sol Brothers, The Ten and Let’s Have Church. The founder/director of the Long Beach Indie International Film Festival, he is the author of the book No More, No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana, a producer on KCET’s Artbound, and executive producer of numerous works of Honduran playwright Rickerby Hinds. A professor of history at El Camino College, he is the founder and curator of the Gospel Music History Archive at the USC Digital Library and for more than a decade served as a research associate at USC’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture. The board chair of the BLU Educational Foundation, his major exhibitions include Sunshine and Central (USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation) and How Sweet the Sound: Gospel Music in Los Angeles (California African American Museum).

The ceremony will feature the conferral of degrees, the awarding of honorary degrees to distinguished individuals, greetings by university officials and commencement speakers. More info is at (909) 607-3305.

Keck Graduate Institute’s 17th commencement, featuring its first-ever school of pharmacy graduating class, takes place Saturday, May 12 at 10 a.m. at Sheraton Fairplex Conference Center, 601 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona. Diana Dooley, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, will be the keynote speaker. Ms. Dooley was appointed Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency by Governor Jerry Brown at the beginning of his term in 2011. She leads the 13 state departments within the agency, chairs the independent health benefit exchange Covered California, and serves as chair or member of numerous other boards and commissions. More info is at or (909) 607-0896.

Pitzer’s 54th Annual Commencement will be held on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Stephen L. Glass Commencement Plaza, 1050 N. Mills Ave., Claremont. This year’s keynote speaker is Dolores Huerta, president and founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and co-founder, with César Chávez, of the United Farm Workers of America, and subject of the award-winning 2017 documentary film, Dolores. Ms. Huerta, originator of the phrase, “Sí, se puede,” was an inaugural recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights from President Bill Clinton in 1998 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2012. Other participants include class speaker Carlos Perrett, a political studies/Spanish major, and senior class president Melissa Banales, who will present the class gift. The class of 2018 also selected professors Kathleen Yep and Will Barndt as student marshals. This year’s faculty marshals will be professors Jim Hoste, Leah Light and Stuart McConnell. The honored guest is dining hall staff member Gary Lewis. More info is at or (909) 621-8219.

Claremont McKenna College’s 71st commencement is set for Saturday, May 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the school’s Pritzlaff Field, located south of Ninth Street and west of Claremont Boulevard. The speaker is Christine Lagarde, a French lawyer and politician who is managing director of the International Monetary Fund. More information is at

Scripps College’s 88th annual commencement takes place at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 12 at Elm Tree Lawn, just north of Malott Commons, at 345 E. Ninth St., Claremont. Civil rights activist and award-winning journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault will deliver the address. Ms. Hunter-Gault is a former foreign correspondent for National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service. More info is at or (909) 607-1870.

Pomona College will award diplomas to more than 400 students at its 125th commencement at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 13 at Marson Quadrangle (the lawn in front of Bridges Auditorium). Political theorist Danielle Allen and legal scholar Kenji Yoshino will deliver speeches and receive honorary degrees.

Harvey Mudd College will graduate its 60th class at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday,?May 13 at Mudd Quadrangle, located at 10th Street and Dartmouth Avenue. Nergis Mavalvala, an astrophysicist working on the detection of gravitational waves and quantum measurement science, will deliver the keynote address.


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