California Assemblywoman Catharine Baker to be Keynote Speaker for National University’s Northern California Commencement on April 23

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National University is among the largest private, nonprofit universities in California, serving a significant number of adult learners; Graduates represent the University's two Colleges and four Schools

Assemblywoman Catharine Baker is Keynote Speaker for National University's 2017 Northern region Commencement. Photo: Courtesy of Catharine Baker

California Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, who serves as Vice Chair of the state Assembly’s Higher Education Committee, will be the keynote speaker at the April 23 Northern California Commencement Ceremony for National University, which is among the largest private, nonprofit universities in California.

Entering her second term as a member of the California State Assembly, Assemblywoman Baker has set a precedent in identifying effective solutions in the education landscape by working to improve K-12 education, supporting and empowering California teachers, and assisting the military community achieve education and career goals as they transition to civilian life.

“National University has been a leader in serving adult learners who are raising a family, working full time, or transitioning from the military, and I am honored to be invited to deliver the keynote address,” said Assemblywoman Baker. “Education is a lifelong process that empowers each of us to forge a better future for our families and communities while creating a strong foundation for our state’s current and future successes.”

Assemblywoman Baker has a personal understanding of the National University experience, with memories of working on homework at one of the University’s campuses when her mother attended programs at the campus. While attending the University of Chicago, Assemblywoman Baker overcame cancer and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, graduating with honors as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She went on to earn her law degree from U.C. Berkeley and worked as an attorney advising small businesses and nonprofits before being elected to the Assembly in 2014.

Today, as a working mom raising school-age twins, Assemblywoman Baker is balancing her family and career with service to the community. Assemblywoman Baker represents California’s 16th Assembly District, which comprises Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, Walnut Creek, Danville, and San Ramon, among other East Bay communities. She had the most bipartisan record of any Assembly member in the 2015-16 session, according to an analysis by the Sacramento Bee.

“Assemblywoman Baker exemplifies the highest standards for leadership in public service and embodies the attributes of empowerment, dedication and compassion that serve as a benchmark for our graduates,” said Dr. David Andrews, President of National University.

Similar to Assemblywoman Baker’s areas of focus, National University has a strong tradition in education, as well as serving the nation’s military and veteran population. About a quarter of the University’s student population is from the military community, and the Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success is dedicated to supporting these students in their transition to campus and civilian life. In addition, the National University Sanford College of Education recommends more teachers for credentials than any other university in California and the University is leading the national expansion of the PreK-6 Sanford Harmony and PreK-12 Sanford Inspire programs, which provide teacher support and strengthen student development.

The 2017 National University Northern California Commencement Ceremony is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 23 at the Sacramento Convention Center. It will be presided over by Dr. David Andrews, National University President and Dr. Michael R. Cunningham, Chancellor of the National University System. More than 500 graduates are expected to attend the ceremony, which recognizes a diverse student body and includes students completing their degree programs online and at the University’s Northern California campuses in Rancho Cordova, San Jose, Fresno, Redding and Stockton.

National University’s Southern California Commencement Ceremony is set for June 17 at San Diego’s Petco Park.

About National University
Founded in 1971, National University is one of the largest private, nonprofit universities in California. With more than 150,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Four schools and two colleges – the College of Letters and Sciences; the Sanford College of Education; the School of Business and Management; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials and licensures. Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California.

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Anna Cearley

Ashleigh Webb
National University
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