Pomona College Announces Speakers for 119th Commencement Ceremony: Cameron Munter to be Principal Speaker
Pomona College will hold its 119th Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 13, at 10 a.m., on Marston Quadrangle (located between 4th and 6th Streets in Claremont). During the ceremony, approximately 355 members of the Class of 2012 will receive their undergraduate degrees.
Cameron Munter, the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, will serve as the principal speaker. A long time diplomat, Ambassador Munter arrived in Islamabad, Pakistan, on October 26, 2010. He had previously served at the American Embassy in Iraq, first as political-military minister-counselor in 2009 and then as deputy chief of mission for the first half of 2010. In 2006, he led the first Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mosul, Iraq. Before working in the Middle East, he served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassies in the Czech Republic (2005-07) and Poland (2002-05). He has also served as director for Central Europe at the National Security Council (1999-2001), executive assistant to the Counselor of the Department of State (1998-99), director of the Northern European Initiative (1998), chief of staff in the NATO Enlargement Ratification Office (1997-98), country director for Czechoslovakia at the Department of State (1989-91) and Dean Rusk Fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. He has also served overseas in Bonn, Prague and Warsaw. He received his doctoral degree in modern European history from the Johns Hopkins University.
Marigold Linton, director of American Indian Outreach at the University of Kansas; musician David Murray, Pomona College Class of ’77; and Jonathan Veitch, president of Occidental College, will receive honorary degrees and address the audience during the ceremony.
Marigold Linton is a Cahuilla-Cupeño and enrolled member of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. She is the first California reservation Indian to have left the reservation to go to a university, starting at UC Riverside and ultimately earning a PhD in experimental psychology from UCLA. She began her career in academia at San Diego State University, where she reached the rank of full professor, and taught at the University of Utah. She then moved to Arizona State University where she served as Director of American Indian Programs serving Arizona tribes through the Rural Systemic Initiative. Since 1998, she has served as Director of American Indian Outreach at the University of Kansas, where she developed a consortium with Haskell Indian Nations University that obtained more than $13 million to support research training opportunities for American Indian students and faculty at both institutions. She is a founder and former president of SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) and founder of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA).
Jazz musician David Murray attended Pomona for two years, studying under Stanley Crouch and Bobby Bradford, before launching his career as a jazz musician and composer. During his career, he has founded and led a variety of well-regarded groups, including the David Murray Octet and the World Saxophone Quartet. Recording for labels in the U.S. and abroad, he has released more than 150 albums covering a range of genres, from avant-garde jazz to big band, from a Grateful Dead tribute (Dark Star, 1996) to opera (“The Sisyphus Revue,” 2008). His most recent CD, released in 2011, is “David Murray Cuban Ensemble Plays Nat King Cole en Español,” based on two albums Cole recorded in Spanish. He has recently been working with neo-soul singer Macy Gray. According to the Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings, Murray “is the most formidable tenor soloist of his generation.” He has been recognized with the Bird Award (1986), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1989) and the Danish Jazzpar Prize (1991), in addition to being named the Village Voice’s Musician of the Decade (1980) and Newsday’s Musician of the Year (1993).
A native of Los Angeles, Jonathan Veitch is the 15th president of Occidental College, a private liberal arts college, founded in Los Angeles in 1887, the same year as Pomona College. Veitch was inaugurated as president of Occidental on July 1, 2009 and has sought to create new partnerships with Southern California’s premier cultural institutions and strengthened the College’s civic engagement, arts and literacy programs. A Stanford graduate, Veitch earned his doctoral degree in the history of American civilization from Harvard and is the author of the award-winning American Superrealism: Nathanael West and the Politics of Representation in the 1930s (1997), among other volumes. His latest research focuses on the history of U.S. higher education. He has taught in the English Department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and as a professor of literature and history at The New School in New York City, where he also served terms as chair of humanities, associate provost and dean of the Eugene Lang College, the university’s undergraduate, liberal arts division.
Pomona College, founded in 1887, offers a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research and leadership.