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Commencement Speakers Announced

Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2012

I am pleased to announce our distinguished speakers for this year’s graduate and undergraduate commencements. Apple Computer co-founder, Fusion-io chief scientist, and Silicon Valley icon Steve Wozniak will address our graduates at the undergraduate commencement on June 16, and Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter will be our speaker for the graduate commencement on June 15.

It is a pleasure to welcome Mr. Wozniak back to campus after his lively presentation for the President’s Speaker Series event in January.  In addition to being one of the original architects of the personal-computing industry, Mr. Wozniak has spent many years supporting educational causes.  His philanthropy goes to efforts that spark a passion for math and science education in grade school students and their teachers, teaching grade school, stressing hands-on learning and encouraging creativity for students. 

Mr. Wozniak's address will mark the University’s 161st commencement, as well as the centennial celebration for the University’s School of Engineering. Read the press release announcing Mr. Wozniak as commencement speaker.

Martha Kanter has held the post of under secretary of education in the U.S. Department of Education since 2009.  In her role at the DOE, Kanter oversees policies, programs, and activities related to postsecondary education, adult and career-technical education, and federal student aid. She also oversees five White House initiatives:  for Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders; Hispanics; historically black colleges and universities; tribal colleges and universities; and faith-based and neighborhood partnerships.

Under Secretary Kanter has served as chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District; president of DeAnza College; director, dean and vice chancellor for policy and research for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office in Sacramento; and vice president of instruction at San Jose City College. For more information about Under Secretary Kanter, read the press release.

At the undergraduate commencement exercises, the University will also award honorary degrees to renowned theologian Michael J. Buckley, S.J. and Mary Somers Edmunds, representative of the pioneering women in undergraduate education at Santa Clara. In this the 50th anniversary of women in undergraduate education, we commemorate the special group who paved the way for women to become a vibrant and integral part of the academic community. 

Paul van Zyl, CEO of PeaceVentures, will give the commencement address for the School of Law, and Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, S.J. will speak at commencement for the Jesuit School of Theology. Both commencements will be held on May 19.

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