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Mount to Celebrate Commencement 2011 With Speaker Sister Judy Vaughan '68, CSJ

Feb. 16, 2011 -- Mount Saint Mary’s University will celebrate Commencement 2011 on May 9 with speaker Sister Judy Vaughan '68, CSJ, founding director of Alexandria House, a Los Angeles organization offering hospitality and transitional residence for women and children in need. Commencement will be held at 3 p.m. in the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, Calif.

Vaughan is the recipient of many distinctions, including the Woman of Justice Award from NETWORK, a national Catholic organization dedicated to the global movement for justice and peace. Following her early days as a Sister of St. Joseph teaching elementary school and at the Mount, she was named director of the House of Ruth emergency shelter in East Los Angeles.

"It is a special privilege and honor to be invited to give the 2011 commencement address. This is a full-circle experience that brings me back to the beginning of my own journey, while offering an opportunity to congratulate a new class of graduates as they step into theirs with purpose, compassion and a sense of social justice," Vaughan says.

"We look forward to an inspiring message from Sister Judy," says Mount President Jacqueline Powers Doud. "She has committed her own life to improving the lives of some of the most vulnerable women and children in our city."

Vaughan has served as coordinator for the National Assembly of Religious Women, a Catholic feminist organization committed to working for justice in church and society. She has co-facilitated more than 100 "Multicultural Look at Racism" workshops throughout the U.S. In addition, Vaughan has served as a college educator in California, including being adjunct faculty in the Education Department at Mount Saint Mary’s University.

In 2001, she was named a Woman of the Year by the Los Angeles County Commission for Women. In 2007, both Alexandria House and Vaughan received commendations from the city and county of Los Angeles for their work on behalf of women and children. In 2010, Vaughan was selected by the 4th city council district to be among 12 women to receive special recognition at the May city council meeting.

In addition to her Mount degree, Vaughan holds degrees from San Diego State University and the University of Chicago. Vaughan's sister, Kieran Vaughan, CSJ '64, is a member of the full-time faculty at the Mount. Vaughan's late father, J. Robert Vaughan, was a Mount trustee. Vaughan's father and her mother, Margaret Vaughan, jointly received the 2005 Carondelet Medal.

Alexandria House was featured in March on the ABC television show "Secret Millionaire," in an episode about a multimillionaire who concealed his wealth and volunteered at the shelter, and then returned and presented two checks to Vaughan, as well as new computers and toys.

Also at commencement, the College will honor the Most Rev. Gabino Zavala, auxiliary bishop with the San Gabriel Pastoral Region of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, with the Carondelet Medal. Zavala served as a College trustee from 1994 to 2002.

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