Cultural Commentator, Trans Women’s Rights Advocate Janet Mock to Keynote Pitzer College’s 51st Commencement

Janet Mock
Janet Mock

Claremont, Calif. (March 10, 2015) — The Pitzer College Class of 2015 has selected Janet Mock, an advocate for trans women’s rights and a New York Times best-selling author, as its 51st commencement speaker. The 2015 ceremony will be held on the Stephen L. Glass Commencement Plaza on Saturday, May 16, 2015, at 10 a.m.

Janet Mock is a writer, cultural commentator, advocate for trans women’s rights and the New York Times best-selling author of Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. Currently, she hosts the weekly culture show So Popular! on MSNBC’s Shift network. Mock first told her story of growing up as a trans girl in 2011 in Marie Claire, where she now serves as a contributing editor, writing articles about pop culture, gender, race and representation. A board member at the Arcus Foundation, Janet Mock has been called one of the smartest women on Twitter by Fast Company, and her work has been recognized by the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, the Anti-Violence Project and Planned Parenthood. A native of Honolulu, Mock attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa and earned her MA in journalism from New York University. She lives and writes in New York City.

Following Pitzer College tradition, the Class of 2015 also selected dining hall staff member Gary Lee Lewis to be its honored guest and Professors Thomas Poon and Nigel Boyle as its student marshals. Professors Sharon Snowiss and Jeffrey Lewis will serve as faculty marshals.

President Laura Skandera Trombley will give the opening remarks. Alexander Cromidas ’15 will introduce the senior class gift and Alumni Board President Tracy M. Tindle ’82 will give the alumni greeting. Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Muriel E. Poston will present the graduating class. Trombley will join Shahan Soghikian ’80, chair of the Board of Trustees, and Registrar Eva Peters to confer diplomas on the Class of 2015.

The 51st Pitzer College Commencement will be broadcast live at 10 a.m. on May 16 at:

About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility, and community involvement. For more information, please visit

Media Contact

Office of Communications
[email protected]