California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to speak at SMC graduation on June 11.
By Staff Writer
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla will be the 2019 commencement speaker at Santa Monica College (SMC). SMC’s 89th commencement ceremony will be held Tuesday, June 11 at 6 p.m. at Corsair Field on the college’s main campus, 1900 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica.
This is the largest graduating class in Santa Monica College’s history: 9,110 degrees and certificates will be awarded to 5,905 students; this includes 24 Bachelor of Science in Interaction Design degrees which will be awarded to 24 students, the second class in SMC’s history to graduate with a baccalaureate degree. More than 750 of the graduates are expected to take part in the festivities. Two of the youngest graduates are 17 and the oldest is 84.
For the tenth year in a row, the ceremony will also be webcast live and available on the college’s website (smc.edu) so that families and friends worldwide who are not able to attend graduation will be able to watch the ceremony and see the graduates receive their diplomas.
“It is a tremendous privilege to have the Honorable Alex Padilla as our commencement speaker at Santa Monica College this year,” said Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, SMC’s Superintendent/President. “With an inspiring personal life story, a record of striving for innovation and change, and a dedication to enhancing the pathway to higher education and expanding opportunities for community college students, Secretary Padilla’s presence and message will have a special resonance for our graduates, who come from many diverse backgrounds.”
A proud son of immigrants—his father worked as a short-order cook for 40 years while his mother cleaned houses—Secretary Padilla went on from Los Angeles public schools to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. At the age of 26, in 1999, he was elected to the Los Angeles City Council to represent the community where he grew up. In 2001, his colleagues elected him to the first of three terms as council president, the youngest member and first Latino to serve in this capacity.
In 2006, Secretary Padilla was elected to the first of two terms to the California State Senate. As a State Senator, he authored legislation to improve the community college transfer process—creating Associate Degrees for Transfer that would be accepted for full credit by the California State University system. Then in 2014, he was elected as California Secretary of State, the first Latino to be elected to this constitutional office. In this role, he has committed to modernizing the office, increasing voter registration and participation, and protecting voting rights.
Graduates and SMC friends are encouraged to visit and “like” the SMC Alumni Facebook fan page (facebook.com/SMCAlumni), as well as upload their graduation photos. They can also tag their pictures to Flickr or Twitter with #proudtobesmc to have them published so they can be viewed through the SMC’s website and social media channels.
After the ceremonies, SMC Associated Students and the Office of Campus and Alumni Relations will host a reception on the quad, with free hors d’oeuvres, beverages, and photo booths. A compilation video will be available on the alumni website about a week after graduation. For more information on SMC’s 89th commencement ceremony, visit smc.edu/graduation.