Source: Daily Breeze
Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson is set to return to his alma matter, Cal State Dominguez Hills, to deliver the one of the university’s 2023 commencement keynote speeches.
More than 3,000 graduates will receive their diplomas this year at the Dignity Sports Health Park Tennis Stadium in a series of six ceremonies slated for Friday and Saturday, May 19-20.
Richardson will deliver his address during the first set of graduations on Friday morning to the College or Arts and Humanities and the College of Education.
“It is a full circle moment to come home and be able to impart some words of wisdom to this new graduating class,” Richardson said in a Tuesday, May 16, interview. “It’s a place where I shaped my identity, where I understood the meaning of leadership and service and advocacy — and where I got involved with government.”
The mayor originally enrolled for classes at CSUDH as an 18-year-old in 2001. He was elected president of Associated Students, Inc. during his time there. But left the university a few years later, several credits shy of completing his degree, after he accepted a full-time job as a community organizer with a local labor union.
Years later — after rising up the city government ranks and winning a seat on the Long Beach City Council — Richardson returned to CSUDH and finished out his degree, earning a bachelor’s of art in philosophy in 2020.
Richardson represented Long Beach’s Ninth District for two years before getting elected as mayor in November. He also served two terms as vice mayor — a total of four years — under his mayoral predecessor, current U.S. Rep. Robert Garcia.
“My hope is to give them some inspiration and some encouragement as they go forth into the world,” Richardson said. “They’re prepared to go into the world and make an impact. They should feel confident that, like generations before, they’re gonna rise to the occasion and they’re gonna make an impact on the world.”
Additional notable figures set to speak at the university’s other ceremonies include California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Southern California Edison executive Vice President for operations Jill Anderson, and Sheniece Smith, NorthBay Healthcare System’s chief administrative officer and general counsel.