University of La Verne Announces 2022 Commencement Speakers
The University of La Verne is pleased to announce keynote speakers for the 2022 commencement ceremonies.
Pomona Unified School District Superintendent Richard Martinez; prominent trial attorney Ricardo Echeverria; Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Excelencia in Education Deborah A. Santiago; and Executive Vice President of the Lewis Group of Companies Randall Lewis will address the University of La Verne’s graduates during commencement ceremonies held on Friday, May 27, and Saturday, May 28.
The university will celebrate the accomplishments of more than 2,300 graduates who studied in the university’s four colleges on the central campus in La Verne, eight regional campuses, and online.
The events will take place at Ortmayer Stadium on the La Verne campus and will also be broadcast live online.
Martinez will address graduates of the LaFetra College of Education. He has been with Pomona Unified since 2001, serving as director of pupil resources, administrative director of personnel services, assistant superintendent of pupil and community services, and deputy superintendent.
He became superintendent in 2009, serving on many district, county, and state boards and committees in school leadership, urban education, diversity, legislative policy, safety, guidance, and child welfare.
He has presented at regional, state, and national conferences on topics such as student achievement, school climate, parent engagement, and peer support.
Echeverria will address graduates of the College of Law. He is a trial attorney with Shernoff Bidart Echeverria LLP handling insurance, bad faith, and catastrophic personal injury cases.
Echeverria is past president of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), the nation’s largest local association of plaintiffs’ attorneys. He was recognized as one of the Top 30 Plaintiff Lawyers in California in 2018 and 2019 and was named one of the Top 100 Attorneys in California in 2017 and 2018 by the Los Angeles Daily Journal. In 2019, he was honored with the Lifetime Legal Achievement Award from Consumer Watchdog.
Santiago, who will address graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences, is chief executive officer and cofounder of Excelencia in Education, a Latina-led research organization dedicated to accelerating Latino student success in higher education.
For more than 20 years, Santiago has led research and evidence-based practices and strategies at national levels to improve educational opportunities for Latino, and all, students.
She has addressed federal legislative issues in higher education at the Congressional Research Service and informed program and policy implementation at the US Department of Education. She also served as the deputy director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.
Lewis, the College of Business and Public Management speaker, has more than 40 years of experience in the real estate industry and serves as executive vice president of Lewis Management Corporation, a member of the Lewis Group of Companies — one of the largest industrial planned community developers in Southern California.
In 2014, Lewis won the Southern California Association of Government’s President’s Award for Sustainability Leader of the Year and the Urban Land Institute’s Bob Santos Industry Leadership Award in Sustainable Community Development. He is an active and philanthropic supporter of health, education, and the arts and is a passionate University of La Verne advocate and donor behind centers such as the Randall Lewis Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Social Impact and the Randall Lewis Center for Well-Being and Research.
The College of Arts and Sciences commencement will take place at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 27; the College of Law commencement will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 28; The LaFetra College of Education commencement starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 28; and the College of Business and Public Management commencement begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 28.
Additional information about commencement is available at laverne.edu/commencement.