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UC Santa Cruz Chancellor and Astrophysicist to Address Santa Monica College Graduates

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By Lookout Staff

June 13, 2014 -- UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Dr. George R. Blumenthal – a noted astronomer and astrophysicist -- will deliver the commencement speech at Santa Monica College’s 84th graduation ceremony next Tuesday.

For the fifth year in a row, the ceremony – which will take place at Corsair Field at 6 p.m. -- will be webcast live and available on the SMC Alumni Association webpage (

Families and friends from all over the world who are not able to attend graduation can watch the ceremony and see the graduates receive their diplomas, officials said.

“We’re honored to have Chancellor Blumenthal address our graduates and reinforce the strong and deep relationship SMC has with the University of California,” said SMC President Dr. Chui L. Tsang. 

“We have worked hard to prepare our students for the academic challenges ahead of them, and the result is that SMC continues to be the state leader in transfers into the UC system.”

About 600 graduates are expected to attend the ceremony, which will also feature the presentation of the Santa Monica College Distinguished Alumni Recognition Award to author Michele Serros, a renowned poet and award-winning spoken word artist.

Dr. Blumenthal is recognized internationally for his contributions to pioneering research on cosmological issues, including the role of dark matter in the formation and evolution of the structure of the universe.

He has authored numerous journal articles and conference papers, and is a co-author of the astronomy texts “21st Century Astronomy” (now in its fourth edition) and “Understanding Our Universe” (second edition to be published in late 2014), according to school officials.

Dr. Blumenthal was appointed the tenth UC Santa Cruz chancellor in September 2007, after 14 months as acting chancellor. He has been at UCSC since 1972 as a professor, researcher and campus leader, serving on a number of governing boards in science, technology and education.

Blumenthal also serves as co-chair of the Joint Graduate Board of the UC and California State University systems and vice chair of the California Association for Research in Astronomy, which oversees the W. M. Keck Observatory on the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

He is also a member of the California Council on Science and Technology, serves on the board of directors of the Bay Area Science and Technology Consortium (BASIC) and is the chair of University Associates–Silicon Valley LLC.

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 (, as well as upload their graduation photos.

They can also tag their pictures to Flickr or Twitter with #smcgrad14 that will be published on the Alumni website.

After the ceremonies, 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.

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