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Janet Napolitano to Be Principal Speaker at Pomona's 117th Commencement

Janet Napolitano, Secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will speak at Pomona College's 117th Commencement.

Janet Napolitano, Secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges, will hold its 117th Commencement Exercises at 10 a.m., on Sunday May 16, on Marston Quad (located between 4th and 6th Streets in Claremont). Approximately 375 members of the Class of 2010 will receive their undergraduate degrees.

Janet Napolitano, Secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will deliver the principal commencement address. Napolitano was mid-way through her second term as governor of Arizona when she was sworn in as Secretary of Homeland Security in January 2009. She was first elected governor in 2002 and was named one of the country’s top five governors by Time magazine in 2005. A year later, she became the first woman to chair the National Governor’s Association, where she was instrumental in creating the Public Safety Task Force and the Homeland Security Advisors Council. Napolitano had previously served as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, appointed by then-President Bill Clinton in 1993 and as the Attorney General of Arizona, elected in 1998.

Robert Price, Class of 1964, and Robert Towne, Class of 1956, will also speak briefly during the ceremony and receive honorary degrees.

Robert Price, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, was a pioneer of the warehouse membership store concept, with his father Sol Price, with Price Club and later the international chain PriceSmart. He currently heads the Price Family Charitable Fund and Price Charities, which partner with businesses, government and nonprofit agencies to strengthen communities in San Diego and Imperial Counties, with a special focus on the area of San Diego known as City Heights. The charities also support philanthropic programs in Israel and elementary schools in Central America. He served as a Pomona College trustee from 1986-91 and again 1994-98.

Best known for the Oscar-winning film Chinatown, screenwriter and director Robert Towne has written numerous movies including Shampoo (1975) Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (as P.H. Vazak, 1984, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay); Days of Thunder (1990); Mission Impossible (1996) and Mission Impossible II (2000). His work has been recognized with awards from the Golden Globes, Writers Guild of America, BAFTA, National Society of Film Critics, and the Hollywood Film Festival.M.

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.