Nely Galán — former President of Entertainment for Telemundo; an Emmy Award-winning producer of over 700 shows in English and Spanish; and the New York Times bestselling author of SELF MADE, Becoming Empowered Self Reliant and Rich In Every Way — will be the 2018 commencement speaker at Santa Monica College (SMC).

SMC’s 88th commencement ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12 at Corsair Field. For the ninth year in a row, the ceremony will also be webcast live and available on the SMC Alumni Association webpage (alumni.smc.edu). Families and friends worldwide who are not able to attend graduation will be able to watch the ceremony and see the graduates receive their diplomas.

About 675 of the more than 4,500 students who have earned degrees and certificates are expected to take part in the festivities. Among the graduating students will be SMC’s first baccalaureate graduates: 18 students who have earned the Bachelor of Science degree in Interaction Design. (In 2015, The California Community Colleges Board of Governors selected Santa Monica College to be among 15 community colleges in California that would offer baccalaureate degrees as part of a pilot program created by the state legislature.).

“This year’s commencement marks a big moment in Santa Monica College’s history: the first time 18 students will receive a Bachelor’s degree from this institution,” said Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, SMC Superintendent/President. “We are so proud of them and of the thousands of other students who chose this college as the pathway to their dream university or career, and have worked so hard to earn that degree or certificate. And we are very pleased to have Nely Galán, a driven, accomplished media entrepreneur to be our 2018 commencement speaker.”

An immigrant who came to this country at the age of five from her native Cuba, Galán worked her way up the ladder—from being an intern, an assistant, then the youngest television station manager of WNJU, channel 47 until she became the first Latina President of Entertainment for a U.S. television network, Telemundo. She is an Emmy Award-winning producer of over 700 episodes of television in English and Spanish, which she produced through her multi-media company Galán Entertainment. Galán is also the founder of The Adelante Movement, which seeks to empower and train Latinas and multi-cultural women and their families economically and entrepreneurially. She is a New York Times bestselling author of the book SELF MADE, Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way (2016, Random House), which has also been published in Spanish and Mandarin.

Galán completed a two-year 150 city book tour in the U.S.; she just began the international leg of the tour in China. She has spoken at venues and forums including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; the No Ceilings initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation; and the United Nations. She is a member of the board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the number one resource for Hispanic and Latino scholarship programs. In addition, Galán serves on the Coca-Cola Company Advisory Council; is an Emeritus member of The Smithsonian Board; and was featured in HBO’s The Latino List documentary and national museum show.

Galán went back to school in her 40s and earned a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute; she is currently completing her dissertation for a Doctor of Psychology in Marriage and Family Therapy. She lives with her family in Venice, California. To see more about Galán and her accomplishments, visit her website at nelygalan.com.

Through the Alumni webpage, SMC graduates will also be able to watch videos and read and post comments. Graduates and SMC friends are encouraged to visit and “like” the Alumni Association’s Facebook fan page (facebook.com/SMCAlumni), as well as upload their graduation photos. They can also tag their pictures to Flickr or Twitter with #proudtobesmc to have them published on the Alumni website.

After the ceremony, the SMC Alumni Association will host a reception on the Quad, with free hors-d’oeuvres, beverages, and photo booths where pictures will be taken and uploaded to the SMC Alumni website. A compilation video will be available on the Alumni website about a week after graduation. For more information on SMC’s 88th commencement ceremony, visit www.smc.edu/graduation.

Submitted by Grace Smith, SMC Public Information Officer