San José, Calif.— April 14, 2011— José Hernández, former NASA astronaut, will deliver The National Hispanic University’s (NHU) 2011 commencement address. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 14, at 10 a.m. on the campus’s Bustos Family Plaza.
“We are thrilled that José accepted our invitation to speak at this year’s commencement ceremony, and we are equally pleased to bestow upon him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters,” said Dr. David Lopez, president of NHU. “From the strides he has made in his career as an astronaut to his dedication to youth and commitment to social change, José is a role model for our graduates as they go out and make their own mark in society.”
The son of Mexican immigrants, Hernández was born in French Camp, Calif. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., and a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Hernández was a member of NASA’s 128th shuttle mission and the 30th mission to the International Space Station. After a decade at NASA, Hernandez recently joined MEI Technologies, Inc. as the executive director for strategic operations. In his new role, he is responsible for international operations and business opportunities in Latin America. Hernández also inspires thousands of children around the world to follow their dreams with his Reaching for the Stars Foundation.
NHU’s festive graduation ceremony will also include a performance by the Calpulli Tonalehqueh Aztec Dancers, a presentation by children from El Nuevo Mundo Children’s Center in Richmond, Calif., and inspiring remarks from the top graduates in each program, as well as the recipients of NHU’s ¡Sí, Se Puede! and President’s awards. More than 100 students will graduate with degrees in business administration, computer science, education, liberal studies, math and science and other academic areas.
The ceremony will also feature the first graduates from NHU’s Master of Arts in Education program, which provides advanced professional preparation for K–12 teachers to help narrow the achievement gap among diverse student populations.