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Commencement to host 400 graduates

Maribel De La Torre, a graduate of Mission College, will return to her former campus as Commencement keynote speaker on June 7.

Ms. De La Torre recently completed terms as Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem of the City of San Fernando. She continues to serve on the city council of that historic community.

Ms. De La Torre is the second oldest of six college-educated children born to strong-valued immigrant parents. After earning an Associate degree at Mission College, she attended the University of California at Berkeley, where she earned a B.A. in Philosophy.

Ms. De La Torre is a founding member of the San Fernando Historic Homes Preservation Group, a citywide association formed to assist residents in the restoration of their older homes. She is passionate about San Fernando’s Old California heritage, local history, and family legacies.

“These are among the city’s most beautiful and valuable resources,” she said, explaining why she has been instrumental in establishing architectural guidelines and a historic preservation program for the City of San Fernando.

Salutatorian Houry Tanashian and Valedictorian Daniyal Amirhamzeh

Another dream of hers is coming to fruition. As a child, Ms. De La Torre developed a passion for competitive swimming. But she still recalls the long trips to swimming facilities away from San Fernando. One of her first acts as a council member was to propose and spearhead the drive to build a regional aquatics center, which is now under construction in San Fernando.

De La Torre will speak to a class that will include 429 degree candidates, 72 percent of them women. The ages of the graduates range from 18 to 61, with the median age set at 24. Daniyal Amirhamzeh, an interdisciplinary studies major, is the class valedictorian. This year’s salutatorian is Houry Tanashian, who also has earned her degree in interdisciplinary studies.

Commencement will begin at 5 p.m. on the campus Quad.

Photos: Lydia Chung