Commencement Speaker

California State Sen. Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) will be the featured speaker at Commencement on Sunday, May 15, 2022.

Occidental will be conferring an honorary degree on Sen. Durazo in recognition of her leadership in public service. The child of migrant workers, Sen. Durazo grew up working alongside her parents in the fields and orchards of California and Oregon before becoming a union organizer, driven by her commitment to the idea of justice, dignity and equality for all. As one of the most influential labor advocates of her generation, Sen. Durazo served as executive vice president of UNITE-HERE International and as the first woman secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, the second largest labor council in the country. She has represented Senate District 24, which includes Eagle Rock and much of the Eastside, since 2018.

Honorary Degrees

Occidental will be conferring an honorary degree on California State Sen. Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) in recognition of her leadership in public service.

The College will also be conferring an honorary degree on Dr. Kimberly Shriner ’80, an infectious disease and tropical medicine specialist at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, who has played a major leadership role in our region’s COVID-19 response and as a pandemic adviser to the College.