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College of San Mateo’s 90th Commencement

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Minnijean Brown Trickey, one of the Little Rock Nine, and a pioneer of the civil rights movement, will deliver the commencement address at College of San Mateo’s graduation ceremony on Friday, May 25. This year’s ceremony is a historic milestone as the college celebrates its 90th anniversary and honors the 90th graduating class of College of San Mateo. The ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. in the college’s gymnasium (Building 8).

About the Speaker
At the age of sixteen, Minnijean Brown Trickey became involved in one of the most pivotal events of the American Civil Rights Movement in the twentieth century.  As one of the Little Rock Nine, she along with eight other African American teenagers, defied death threats, hostile demonstrators, and even the Arkansas National Guard, to attend the all-white Little Rock Central High School on September 4, 1957. Rising above the adversity, she took a courageous step that not only changed her life and education, but the lives and educations of African Americans throughout the nation.   

Brown Trickey’s involvement in the desegregation of schools influenced her lifetime commitment to peacemaking, environmental issues, youth leadership, diversity education, cross-cultural communication, and gender and social justice advocacy. She served in the Clinton Administration as deputy assistant secretary for workforce diversity at the Department of the Interior. Brown Trickey has received numerous awards for her work for social justice, including the Lifetime Achievement Tribute by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and the International Wolf Award for contributions to racial harmony.  With the Little Rock Nine, she received the NAACP Spingarn Medal and the Congressional Gold Medal presented by President Bill Clinton.

She is the subject of the documentary, Journey to Little Rock: the Untold Story of Minnijean Brown Trickey, which has received critical acclaim in international film festivals in Africa, the United Kingdom, the U.S., South America and Canada.

Brown Trickey realized her dream of education by earning a bachelor’s degree in social work from Laurentian University and a master’s degree in social work from Carleton University in Canada. She has taught at Carleton University and community colleges in Canada and was a Shipley Visiting Writer for Heritage Studies at Arkansas State University.  She continues her work as a teacher, writer and motivational speaker.  During spring 2012, Brown Trickey taught the class, “Landmarks of Civil Rights: The U.S. Civil Rights Movement,” at College of San Mateo, Cañada College and Skyline College.

About CSM’s 90th Graduating Class of 2012

This year, College of San Mateo will confer 401 associate degrees in 46 majors. In addition the college will award 499 career and technical certificates representing 56 certificate programs, an increase of nearly 40% over the previous year. CSM’s graduates and other transfer students have received their acceptances to universities for the fall 2012 semester. The universities that CSM students will transfer to include eight University of California campuses, 15 California State University campuses and more than 30 private and independent colleges and universities throughout the nation including Stanford, Cornell and Vanderbilt universities.

Other Commencement Highlights

In addition to Minnijean Brown Trickey serving as commencement speaker, student Daniella Medeiro, vice president of the Associated Students, will be the student speaker; her speech is titled, “Our Journey to Success.” The ceremony will include the awarding of 2011/12 Allan R. Brown Outstanding Student Service Awards. This year’s recipients are Bill Callahan, Gabriel Denham, John Kilic, Matthew Schmeeckle, Hayley Sharpe and Emmeline Wong. The award recognizes students who have made outstanding volunteer contributions to student life, the college and the community.  During the ceremony, a special presentation will be made to Jake Owen Wilkerson (A.A., Fire Technology), CSM’s Summa Cum Laude graduate who earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average in all of his coursework at the college. Musical selections will be performed by CSM’s Symphonic Band, led by Professor of Music Michael Galisatus. For a map and directions to CSM, visit http://collegeofsanmateo.edu/map/

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