Ruben Navarrette, Jr., Will Headline UC Merced’s 2008 Commencement Ceremony

MERCED - Syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette, Jr., a sought-after expert on ethnicity and national origin, will address the University of California, Merced, Class of 2008 at their commencement exercise on May 23.

Navarrette is a native of the Fresno/Sanger area and a second-generation Mexican-American who attended Harvard for his bachelor's and Master's degrees. He now writes for the editorial pages of the San Diego Union-Tribune and is one of only about ten Hispanic syndicated columnists in the United States. He has also appeared on numerous national news Web sites, television shows, and radio shows as a commentator. He is the author of "A Darker Shade of Crimson: Odyssey of a Harvard Chicano."

"We're very pleased Ruben Navarrette has accepted our invitation to address the graduates of UC Merced this year," said student organizer Kamilia Dews. "We think a lot of our grads will identify with elements of his background from their own experiences, and even more importantly, all of us will be inspired by his successes."

Commencement will be at 10 a.m. May 23 on the quad at UC Merced. The ceremony is open to graduating seniors and their invited guests and is not a public event. (Interested journalists should R.S.V.P. to the UC Merced Office of Communications at

This year's student speaker will be Sonia Salazar, who is receiving a bachelor's degree in literature. Salazar works in the Joseph E. Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center; was an orientation leader; served as a student government Senate member; and participated in the UCDC program interning in the Public Defenders Office last fall.

For more information about Commencement 2008, visit

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