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News Contact:
Cathy Summa-Wolfe
, Executive Director
Communications, Community Relations, and Advancement

COM Celebrates its 87th Commencement on Friday, May 23, 2014

U.S. Congressman Jared Huffman will be this year’s Commencement Keynote Speaker

KENTFIELD, CA—May 21, 2014—College of Marin’s 87th annual commencement exercises will take place on Friday, May 23, 2014, at 6 p.m. in the Irwin P. Diamond Physical Education Center Gymnasium, 700 College Ave., Kentfield, CA. Approximately 380 students will receive 430 degrees and certificates this year. An estimated 120 students will participate in the formal ceremony. The youngest graduate is 19 and the oldest graduate is 71 years old. College of Marin will be awarding 232 associate in arts degrees, 110 associate in science degrees and 94 certificates. (Some students have earned more than one degree or certificate).

The Commencement ceremony will open with an address from Academic Senate President Sara McKinnon. The National Anthem will be performed by College of Marin student soloist Jessica Rollins. Superintendent/President David Wain Coon, Ed. D. will welcome the graduating class. Vice President of Student Services Jonathan Eldridge will introduce student Trustee Lance Reyes and Student Commencement Speaker Nichelle Lyster. President of the Board of Trustees Stephanie O’Brien will introduce College of Marin's 87th Commencement Keynote Speaker U. S. Congressman Jared Huffman. Interim Vice President of Student Learning Cari Torres will present the graduating class of 2014 and Academic Senate President Sara McKinnon will close the ceremony, which will be followed by a recessional.

About College of Marin's 87th Commencement Keynote Speaker
Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael)

Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) was sworn in as a member of the 113th Congress on January 3, 2013 to represent California’s second district. The district spans from the Golden Gate Bridge north to the Oregon border, covering six counties including all of Marin, Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, and Del Norte, and much of Sonoma Counties. Huffman is a member of the Committee on Natural Resources and the House Budget Committee.

Prior to his election to Congress, Huffman served six years in the California State Assembly where he authored more than 60 pieces of successful legislation and received numerous awards for his legislative leadership. Huffman chaired the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee, served on the Budget Committee and was co-chair of the Legislative Environmental Caucus.

Prior to his election to public office, Huffman was a Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). One of his proudest accomplishments at NRDC was helping forge an agreement to restore a 153-mile stretch of the San Joaquin River in California’s Central Valley. Before he joined NRDC, Huffman was a successful public interest attorney whose victories included several major jury verdicts in gender discrimination and race discrimination trials. He also served as a Director of Marin County’s largest special district, the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD), from 1994 to 2006.

Huffman graduated magna cum laude from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he was also a three-time NCAA All-American volleyball player. He went on to play for the USA Volleyball Team in 1987 when the team was ranked #1 in the world, before attending and graduating cum laude from Boston College Law School. Huffman lives in Marin with his wife Susan and their two children, Abby and Nathan. In his free time, Huffman enjoys all types of fishing, as well as tennis and home winemaking.

About College of Marin Student Trustee Lance Reyes

Originally from Los Angeles, Lance Reyes has attended College of Marin since 2010. During his time at COM, he has served as the Associated Student President and most recently as Student Trustee. Over the past three years he has advocated on behalf of students, focusing on creating projects that increase access to educational opportunities, pay attention to the unique needs of COM students, and support student success - both socially and academically. Additionally he has served as a peer tutor for the college’s learning center and has been heavily involved in the college’s outreach programs as a student ambassador.

A re-entry student himself, Reyes spent his time before College of Marin completing a multi-year electrical apprenticeship in Honolulu, Hawaii. His apprenticeship reawakened a curiosity for learning and inspired his decision to pursue an undergraduate degree. Since his return he has balanced the multiple commitments of academics, leadership, and employment, while also fulfilling the role of an uncle, brother, and son to his family. He is transferring this fall to the University of California at Berkeley where he plans to major in Computer Science. Reyes plans to use his degree to integrate his interests in computing with his passion for public service. He is proud to continue the long tradition of students whose experience at COM helps them defy stereo-types about what they can accomplish, and opens their eyes to their own determination and potential.

About College of Marin’s 87th Commencement Student Speaker Nichelle Lyster

Born in Mammoth Lakes, California, and raised in Berkeley, California, Nichelle Lyster has attended the College of Marin since the fall of 2010. She has participated in an array of activities at COM, including serving as an auxiliary member of the Associated Students of College of Marin (ASCOM), an officer of the transfer club, and participating in the National Community College Legislative Summit in Washington, DC. In her three years at COM Lyster has balanced an academic life in Marin with work and social life in the East Bay. Living in Oakland she volunteers with community organizations working to improve the west Oakland neighborhood and is an inherently interested in bringing awareness and resources to (unacknowledged) communities. Lyster will transferring this fall to Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. She hopes that her education will help her pursue a career as an advocate for underserved populations. Lyster is the youngest of three girls and her family continues providing their unwavering support for her academic success. Grateful for the opportunities to study what she is passionate about Lyster says that her experience at COM has given her confidence to step fully into life and continue her education.

About College of Marin

College of Marin has been providing exceptional educational opportunities for students of all ages since fall 1926. The college administration is located in Kentfield, CA. The college also operates the Indian Valley Campus in Novato, CA. College of Marin is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

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