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May 21, 2002
Contact: Thomas Knox
(310) 243-3367

Elana Edelstein
(310) 243-2001


Former Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa Addresses Graduates at
Cal State Dominguez Hills' 36th Commencement Ceremony

Carson, CA - The graduating class of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), will hear a keynote address from former Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa during the 36th Annual Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 24, at The Forum in Inglewood. The commencement ceremony begins at 10 a.m.

Drawing from his years as head of one of the nation's most powerful elected bodies, the California Assembly, Villaraigosa will speak on the theme: "Ask the Question" to an audience of approximately 18,000, composed of graduating students, family and friends.

Villaraigosa spent a celebrated and respected career in California politics. Including spearheading a $9.2 billion school bond to rebuild and modernize California public schools, a $2.1 billion initiative to provide parks and open space throughout California, and a state health insurance program, "Healthy Families," serving 600,000 children of the working poor. After serving in the legislature, Villaraigosa ran for mayor of Los Angeles in 2001 on an agenda that generated excitement across the country. He later served on the California Medical Assistance Commission, was the Cesar Chavez Senior Fellow in Public Policy at UCLA and is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the University of Southern California. He lectures on politics, civil rights and urban issues throughout the nation and also consults on public policy and business matters.

Representing CSU Dominguez Hills are President James E. Lyons, Sr.; vice presidents Boice Bowman, Alphonce Brown, Jr., Kathleen Walton, and George Pardon. Also, representing the academic units on campus are deans Donald Bates, School of Business and Public Administration; Billie Blair, School of Education; Abel Arvizu Whittemore, School of Health; Selase Williams, College of Arts and Sciences; Margaret Gordon, Extended Education; and, Sandra Parham, University Library.

Others in the Platform Party include J. Cynthia McDermott, Chair, Academic Senate; Susan Johnston, Associate Professor of Teacher Education, and 2002 Recipient of the CSUDH Outstanding Professor Award; George Wiger, Professor of Chemistry, and 2002 Recipient of the Lyle E. Gibson Distinguished Teacher Award.

Also on hand will be Erene Thomas, Student Trustee, CSU System; Richard West, Senior Vice Chancellor, Business Affairs and Finance, CSU System; and Louis Caldera, Vice Chancellor for Advancement. Representing the students will be José Solache, president, Associated Students, Inc. The alumni representative is Kathleen Alvarez, president, CSUDH Alumni Association, Inc.