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Former Lt. Gov. to Speak at UC Merced Commencement

April 11, 2012
Cruz Bustamante will address the Class of 2012 during the university's seventh commencement ceremony
Quick Facts: 
Former Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante will address UC Merced’s Class of 2012 at commencement on May 12.
During his time in the Legislature, especially as speaker, Bustamante was a champion for the development of UC’s 10th campus in Merced.
Roughly 788 students are expected to walk in the ceremony.

Former California Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante will deliver the keynote address at the University of California, Merced’s commencement on May 12.

Bustamante, who was at one time the nation’s highest ranking Latino elected official, will speak to some 788 students eligible to graduate from UC Merced this spring, along with their families and friends.

“We are privileged to have the Honorable Cruz Bustamante as the commencement speaker for UC Merced’s Class of 2012, our largest graduating class,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Keith Alley. “Mr. Bustamante was a key legislative leader in the early development of the 10th UC campus.”

Bustamante, a Dinuba native, was first elected to the State Assembly in 1993 and rose to speaker of the assembly before becoming lieutenant governor in 1999.

As speaker, he worked closely with his colleagues in the Legislature and officials at the University of California to ensure funds were committed for the campus’ early planning and construction. During his terms as lieutenant governor, he continued to advocate for the funding necessary for the opening of the campus in 2005.

“He is a role model of perseverance and determination,” Alley said. “His life has taken him from the agricultural fields of western Fresno County to the halls of the state Capitol; Mr. Bustamante will bring a unique perspective to our campus and its student body.” 

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