CGU Selects Health Experts to Speak at Commencement

This year’s Commencement at Claremont Graduate University will feature five speakers with strong backgrounds in health and medicine. 

“They all embrace public health issues and big health policy issues,” CGU President Debbie Friend said. “They embrace public health in a very important way and make national policy.”

Although typically there are four commencement speakers, this year there are five. The featured speaker is Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, a geriatrician, former professor at the University of Pennsylvania medical school, and the president of the largest national private philanthropy, the Robert Wood Johnson foundation.

The other four speakers are David Blumenthal, a former Harvard Medical School professor who is now president of the Commonwealth Fund, one of the largest health-focused foundations and private philanthropies in the United States; Raynard Kington, President of Grinnell College and the only African-American man to serve as the director of the National Institutes of Health; Mario Molina, CEO and founder of Molina Healthcare, an organization based in Long Beach that focuses on the delivery of health services; and David Kessler, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and former dean of University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

CGU chooses its commencement speakers in a process that differs from most graduate schools in the United States. Each year, one of the five schools is in charge of organizing the speakers. The individual college chooses the honorary speakers and presents them to the president. The sponsoring school for the Class of 2013 is the School of Community and Global Health.

Around 4,000 people usually come to Commencement, including the 400 to 500 graduating students. This year marks the university’s 86th Commencement, which will take place May 18 on the CGU campus.

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