Patrick Giblin / University of the Pacific
Special to Bilingual Weekly
Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, will be the keynote speaker at University of the Pacific’s 2011 Commencement Ceremony at 9 a.m. May 7. He will be the first former head of state to speak at a Pacific graduation ceremony.
The day before Commencement, President Fox will give the Gerber Lecture in the Faye Spanos Concert Hall on the Stockton campus at 6 p.m. The Gerber Lecture series is presented by Pacific’s School of International Studies and focuses on international affairs. It is free and open to the public. Commencement is a ticketed event that is open to families and friends of graduating students.
“With the growing interdependence of the world’s economies, it is vital that today’s graduates understand and appreciate the global platform that we all work in,” said President Pamela A. Eibeck. “We are thrilled that President Fox will be on campus to share his message of hope and community with our graduates, as well as with the broader region the night before Commencement.”
Fox, a graduate of Harvard and Mexico’s Universidad Iberoamericana, served as his nation’s president from 2000 until 2006. He previously served as the Governor of Guanajuato from 1995 to 1999. He worked for Coca Cola from 1964 to 1979 and served as the President of Coca Cola Mexico for his final four years at the company before retiring. In 2007, he published his memoir “Revolution of Hope: The Life, Faith, and Dreams of a Mexican President.”
In his memoirs, Fox credits his job at Coca Cola for introducing him to a Mexico that he did not know about. He wrote that as a route supervisor, he often traveled on delivery runs to some of the most remote areas of Mexico and saw poverty, diversity and adversity firsthand. That introduced a desire to improve his nation, he wrote, and led to his interest to politics.Currently, Fox is touring to raise funds to build Mexico’s first presidential library. It will be modeled on the presidential library system in the United States where each library focuses on one president’s administration, acts as a repository for official papers from that administration, is open to research by scholars, and offers tours to the public.
While in Stockton, Fox will host a community reception on Friday to discuss his library. The details of that event will be announced later.
Besides the two speeches and the community reception, President Fox will meet with students and faculty members Friday to discuss international affairs. At the Saturday Commencement ceremony, the University will confer an honorary doctor of laws degree to Fox. That degree does not refer to study of the judicial system, but rather to the study of the “natural laws of the universe” such as science, math and other traditional liberal arts subjects.
The weekend’s Commencement celebration begins at 4 p.m. Friday, May 6 with the Interfaith Baccalaureate Service in Morris Chapel. That will be followed by a reception for graduating students and their families. The University Commencement ceremony will start at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 7 in the Alex G. Spanos Center.
Separate Diploma and Hooding Ceremonies for College of the Pacific, Eberhardt School of Business, Benerd School of Education, the School of International Studies, the Conservatory of Music and the School of Engineering and Computer Science will be held throughout the afternoon of May 7. Ceremonies for Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will be held May 14. Graduation for the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry will be held June 12.
For more information about commencement, visit http://www2.pacific.edu/commencement/.