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Alumna returns to SCU for graduate commencement

SANTA CLARA, Calif. May 19, 2003 Mary F. Bitterman, former CEO of the James Irvine Foundation and former president and CEO of   KQED, one of the leading public broadcasting centers in the United States, will speak Sunday, June 15 at the 2003 graduate commencement ceremonies for Santa Clara University. Bitterman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Santa Clara University and a masters and doctorate from Bryn Mawr College.

"We are honored to welcome Mary Bitterman - one of our own alumni - back on campus as the graduate commencement speaker this year,"said Santa Clara University President Paul Locatelli, S.J. "Mary 's accomplishments and experience as a nationally recognized broadcast executive and foundation leader are a symbol of the possibilities of what today's graduates can achieve as accomplished, ethical professionals dedicated to the service of society."

A fourth-generation Californian, Bitterman was president and CEO of The James Irvine Foundation from February 2002 to April 2003. She also served as President and CEO of KQED from 1993- 2002. Bitterman's previous professional roles include director of the Hawaii State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, director of the Voice of America (a Presidential appointment), and the executive director of the Hawaii Public Broadcasting Authority. Bitterman is director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. At present, there are 18 institutes in four states -- Maine, Vermont, California, and Hawaii -- with plans underway to develop a national network of the Osher Institutes.

Bitterman also maintains a broad set of community affiliations. She is currently a director of the Los Angeles Urban Funders, Bank of Hawaii, the Commonwealth Club of California, and the Public Broadcasting Service. She is an honorary member of the National Presswomen's Federation and a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

The Santa Clara University graduate commencement will be held Sunday, June 15 at 9.30 a.m. in Buck Shaw Stadium on the SCU campus. Approximately 4000 people are expected to attend the ceremony for 400 students. Bitterman will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J. For more information about the commencement ceremonies, visit

About Santa ClaraUniversity

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,060 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the fourth-highest graduation rate among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is online at


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