The University of La Verne has announced its speakers for the Spring 2022 Opening Ceremonies.
Pomona Unified School District Superintendent Richard Martinez; prominent prosecutor Ricardo Echeverria; Co-founder and CEO of excellence in education Deborah A. Santiago; and Executive Vice President of Lewis group of companies Randall Lewis will address the graduates of the University of La Verne during the opening ceremonies which will be held on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 May.
The university will celebrate the achievements of more than 2,300 graduates who have studied at the university’s four colleges on the central La Verne campus, eight regional campusesand online.
The events will take place at Ortmayer Stadium on the La Verne campus and will also be streamed live online.
Martinez will speak to graduates of LaFetra College of Education. He has worked for Pomona Unified since 2001, serving as Director of Student Resources, Administrative Director of Personnel Services, Assistant Superintendent of Student and Community Services, and Deputy Superintendent.
He became superintendent in 2009, serving on numerous district, county and state boards and committees on school leadership, urban education, diversity, legislative policy, safety, guidance and of child protection.
He has presented at regional, state, and national conferences on topics including student success, school climate, parent engagement, and peer support.
Echeverria will be aimed at graduates of College of Law. He is a trial lawyer with Shernoff Bidart Echeverria LLP, handling insurance, bad faith and catastrophic personal injury cases.
Echeverria is the past president of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), the nation’s largest grassroots plaintiffs’ attorney association. He was recognized as one of California’s Top 30 Plaintiffs’ Lawyers in 2018 and 2019 and was named one of California’s Top 100 Lawyers in 2017 and 2018 by the Los Angeles Daily Newspaper. In 2019, he received the Lifetime Legal Achievement Award from Consumer Watchdog.
Santiago, which will be aimed at graduates of the College of Arts and Sciencesis CEO and co-founder of excellence in Education, a Latina-led research organization dedicated to accelerating Latino student success in higher education.
For more than 20 years, Santiago has led national research and evidence-based practices and strategies to improve educational opportunities for Latino students 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 Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.
Lewis, the College of Business and Public Management lecturer, has over 40 years of experience in the real estate industry and is Executive Vice President of Lewis Management Corporation, a member of the Lewis Group of Companies – one of the largest developers of planned industrial communities 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 for Sustainable Community Development. He is an active and philanthropic supporter of health, education, and the arts and is a passionate advocate for the University of La Verne and a donor behind centers such as the Randall Lewis Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Social Impact and the Randall Lewis Center for Wellness and Research.
The start of the College of Arts and Sciences will be at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 27; the start of the College of Law will be at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 28; LaFetra College of Education start begins at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 28; and the start of the College of Business and Public Management begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 28.
Additional startup information is available at laverne.edu/beginning.