Pacific Oaks College Announces Alumna Dr. Antonia Darder as Keynote Speaker for 2019 Commencement Ceremony

Published : Wednesday, April 10, 2019 | 1:37 PM

Pacific Oaks College on Wednesday announced its 2019 Commencement Ceremony keynote speaker will be alumna Dr. Antonia Darder.

Darder will deliver the main address during commencement, taking place at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on May 11, 2019.

“Commencement is a celebration that’s as much about reflecting back as looking forward,” said Pacific Oaks College Interim President Dr. Jack Paduntin. “We’re proud to welcome back our distinguished alumna, Dr. Antonia Darder, whose time at Pacific Oaks College provided her with a foundation for success that’s turned into an illustrious academic career. We hope this serves as a homecoming for her and provides our graduating class with the assurance that they always remain a vital part of the PO community.”

Darder graduated from Pacific Oaks College in 1981 with an M.A. in Human Development and then earned her Ph.D. in Education from Claremont Graduate University in 2001. She is a public intellectual, educator, writer, activist, artist, and holds the Leavey Presidential Endowed Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

Additionally, Darder is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Education at the University of Johannesburg, Professor Emerita of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, and an American Educational Research Association Fellow.

Darder has received both the American Educational Research Association Scholars of Color Lifetime Contribution Award and the Freire Social Justice Award. For the last 40 years, she has worked tirelessly to counter social and material inequalities within schools and communities. Her scholarship has consistently focused on issues of racism, political economy, social justice, education, and society. Beyond academia, she is a poet and visual artist.

At the commencement ceremony, Pacific Oaks College anticipates graduating over 500 students, who will earn their Bachelor and Master level degrees in the fields of Education, Human Development, Marital & Family Therapy, and Organizational Leadership. The ceremony also marks Pacific Oaks’ first-ever graduating class in the Bachelor’s in Advocacy & Social Justice degree program.

About Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School

Founded nearly 75 years ago in 1945, Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School (PO) is a non-profit, accredited higher education institution offering Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in human development, marriage and family therapy, education, early childhood education, teacher preparation, advocacy & social justice, community psychology, and organizational leadership and change. Pacific Oaks Children’s School provides early childhood education programs for children ages 6 months through 5 years and has pioneered achievements in the areas of anti-bias education, emergent curriculum, and peaceful conflict resolution. The Children’s School is designated as an outdoor classroom demonstration site and recently launched a Spanish Immersion program.

PO is dedicated to the principles of inclusion, social justice, and the valuing of each individual. The school has a long history of serving non-traditional and adult students and is known for its experiential and culture-centered approach to education. PO offers classes at its main campus in Pasadena, its San Jose Campus, online, and at instructional sites throughout California. PO is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). For more information, visit

Pacific Oaks College is an affiliate of TCS Education System, a non-profit system of colleges advancing student success and community impact.







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