University of Southern California President C.L. Max Nikias will be the commencement speaker at Santa Monica College.
SMC’s Commencement Exercises, which will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 11 on Corsair Field, will be webcast live and available on the SMC Alumni webpage. This is the fourth year in a row that SMC’s graduation will be available to families and friends from all over the world who will not be able to attend the ceremony.
About 550 graduates are expected to attend the festivities, which will also feature the awarding of the SMC Foundation’s Distinguished Alumni Award to Nathalie Rayes, the U.S. national public relations director of Grupo Salinas, a Mexican conglomerate with $5 billion in annual sales.
“We’re honored that Dr. Nikias will be our commencement speaker,” said SMC President Dr. Chui L. Tsang. “Santa Monica College and USC have had close ties for many years, and SMC has long been the number one transfer institution to USC. Thousands of Santa Monica College students have gone on to receive an exceptional baccalaureate education at USC that has launched many outstanding careers.”
Nikias became USC’s 11th president in August 2010. He has been at USC since 1991, as a professor, director of national research centers, dean, provost, and now president. He holds faculty appointments in both electrical engineering and the classics. Additionally, he leads special freshman seminars each fall on ancient Athenian democracy and drama.
Nikias is recognized internationally for his pioneering research on digital signal processing, digital media systems, and biomedicine. The U.S. Department of Defense has adopted a number of his innovations and patents in sonar, radar, and communication systems. He has authored more than 275 journal articles and conference papers, three textbooks, and eight patents, and has mentored more than 30 Ph.D. and postdoctoral scholars.
After the ceremonies, the Alumni Association is hosting a reception on the Quad, with free hors d’oeuvres, beverages, and two photo booths where pictures will be taken and uploaded on the Alumni website. A compilation video will be available on the website about a week after graduation.