Published: April 1, 2016
Pasadena, Calif.– April 1, 2016: The 56th Commencement Ceremony of Pacific Oaks College will take place on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium with a commencement address by Dolores Huerta, labor activist and co-founder of United Farm Workers.
Pacific Oaks College anticipates graduating nearly 400 students, who will earn bachelor and master level degrees in the fields of Human Development, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Education.
“Dolores Huerta is an extraordinary woman who has advocated for issues which stand at the core of Pacific Oaks College’s values and mission. We’re thrilled to have her inspire our students as they embark on their new journeys,” said President Dr. Patricia A. Breen.
Since 1955, Dolores Huerta has been an advocate for social justice, women’s rights, reproductive freedom and LGBT civil rights. She most notably co-founded the United Farm Workers (UFW) with Cesar Chavez in 1962. Through her commitment and passion, the UFW transformed the way farm workers were treated in this country and further established fair treatment along with suitable working conditions for them. In 1998, she received the Eleanor D. Roosevelt Human Rights Award from President Clinton and in 2012, she received the Medal of Freedom Award from President Obama, the highest civilian award in the US.
She is a founding board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation and also serves on the board of Ms. Magazine. Huerta has received numerous awards including the Ohtli award from the Mexican Government, the James Smithson Award from the Smithsonian Institution, and the Icons of the American Civil Rights Movement Award bestowed to her in 2011 by the National Civil Rights Museum. She was named the Ladies Home Journal’s 100 most important woman of the 20th Century and the Kern County woman of the year by the California State legislature. Her most recent recognitions include her induction to the U. S. Department of Labor Hall of Honor and the first Latina induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
As one of the most famous and celebrated Latinas in the U.S., Dolores Huerta continues her unwavering passion to develop leaders and advocate for the working poor, women, and children. As founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she travels across the country engaging in campaigns and influencing legislation that supports equality and defends civil rights.
Founded 71 years ago by a small group of Pasadena families, Pacific Oaks is dedicated to the fundamental Quaker principles of inclusion, social justice, and the valuing of every human being. Pacific Oaks College is a nonprofit, accredited higher education institution offering bachelor’s-completion and master’s programs in human development, marriage and family therapy, education, early childhood education, and teacher credentialing. It offers classes at its main campus in Pasadena, a campus in San Jose, and at a number of instructional sites throughout California, as well as online. Since 1959, Pacific Oaks has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).