Medal of Freedom Winner and Renowned Activist Dolores Huerta to Keynote Pitzer College 2018 Commencement

Commencement Keynote Speaker Dolores Huerta
2018 Commencement Keynote Speaker Dolores Huerta

Claremont, Calif. (April 23, 2018)—The Pitzer College Class of 2018 has selected Dolores Huerta, president and founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America with César Chávez, to deliver the keynote address at the 54th Commencement on Saturday, May 12, at 10 a.m.

Huerta is a labor leader and community organizer. She has worked for civil rights and social justice for more than 50 years. In 1962, she and César Chávez founded the United Farm Workers Union. She served as vice president and played a critical role in many of the union’s accomplishments for four decades. In 2002, she received the $100,000 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship, which she used to establish the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF). DHF connects groundbreaking community-based organizing to state and national movements to register and educate voters; advocate for education reform; bring about infrastructure improvements in low-income communities; advocate for greater equality for the LGBT community; and create strong leadership development. She has received numerous awards including the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights from President Bill Clinton in 1998. In 2012, President Barack Obama bestowed Huerta with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.

Carlos Perrett ’18, a political studies/Spanish major, was selected as the senior class speaker. Senior Class President Melissa Banales ’18 will present the class gift.

The Class of 2018 also selected Professors Kathleen Yep and Will Barndt as student marshals. This year’s faculty marshals will be Professors Jim Hoste, Leah Light and Stuart McConnell. The honored guest is dining hall staff member Gary Lewis.

The 54th Pitzer College Commencement will be streamed live from Pitzer College’s Stephen L. Glass Commencement Plaza at 10 a.m. on May 12 at  For more information about the 2018 Pitzer College Commencement, please visit:

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]