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Maria Contreras-Sweet – founding chairwoman of PROAMERICA BANK, the first Latino-owned commercial bank in California in over 35 years – will deliver Mount Saint Mary’s University's Commencement address on May 6.

Maria Contreras-Sweet to deliver Mount St. Mary's 2013 Commencement address

Maria Contreras-Sweet will deliver Mount Saint Mary’s University’s Commencement address during a ceremony to be held May 6 at Universal Studios’ Gibson Amphitheatre.

Contreras-Sweet is the founding chairwoman of PROAMÉRICA BANK, the first Latin-owned commercial bank in California in over 35 years. She also is a founding director of The California Endowment and a founding president of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality.

“We are honored to have Maria Contreras-Sweet join us for Commencement on May 6and to speak to Mount St. Mary’s 2013 graduating class,” says Mount St. Mary’s President Ann McElaney-Johnson.

A commitment to expanding women’s leadership opportunities motivated Contreras-Sweet to join the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard University, the International Women’s Forum and to serve as a U.S. Senate appointee to the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission. In 2012, Contreras-Sweet served as a panelist at Mount St. Mary’s inaugural release of its Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™.

Previously, she served for five years as Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing for the State of California, managing a $14 billion budget and a workforce of more than 42,000. Contreras-Sweet was most recently in the news this April, when she was featured in an NBC Latino story on “10 Immigrant Entrepreneurs in the U.S.”

Commencement notes
The College’s Commencement ceremony will include the presentation of The Carondelet Medal, the highest honor granted by the Mount. Dr. Jacqueline Powers Doud, Mount St. Mary’s president emerita, and her husband Dr. Robert E. Doud, will receive the 2013 Carondelet Medal. The honor is named after the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, who founded the College in 1925 and continue to foster a spirit of service among Mount St. Mary’s students, faculty and staff.

KCET’s Val Zavala, a Mount trustee, will preside over the Commencement processional. Dr. Eleanor Siebert, the College’s retiring provost and academic vice president, will once again present the candidates for this year’s graduating class. 

More than 700 students are graduating from Mount St. Mary’s this academic year, from the College’s traditional baccalaureate degree programs, associate in arts programs, graduate degree programs and the Mount’s Weekend College baccalaureate degree program designed for working adults.

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