Former Secretary of Labor and NBC Newswoman to Keynote

Cal State Fullerton’s 2008 Commencement
May 17-18

February 11, 2008

By Pamela McLaren

Author Robert B. Reich, secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton, and NBC4’s Orange County Bureau Chief Vikki Vargas will address Cal State Fullerton’s Class of 2008 as the keynote speakers for this year’s commencement ceremonies.

Vargas will step to the podium for the Saturday, May 17, ceremony, while Reich will address attendees at the Sunday, May 18, ceremony.

Reich, professor of public policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, has authored 11 books, including “The Work of Nations,” “The Future of Success” and most recently, “Supercapitalism: Transformation of Business, Democracy and Everyday Life.” Reich provides weekly commentaries on public radio’s “Marketplace” and his articles have appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. He is co-founding editor of American Prospect magazine.         

While serving as Clinton’s secretary of labor, Reich implemented the Family and Medical Leave Act, headed a successful effort to raise the minimum wage, secured worker’s pensions and launched job-training programs and school-to-work initiatives. He led a national fight against sweatshops in the United States as well as illegal child labor throughout the world. Under his leadership, the Department of Labor won more than 30 awards for innovation.

Reich has been a member of the faculties of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Brandeis University. He received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, his master’s from Oxford University — where he was a Rhodes Scholar — and his juris doctorate from Yale Law School.

Cal State Fullerton alumna Vikki Vargas (B.A. communications ’81) joined NBC4 in July 1982 as a general assignment reporter. Since then, she has covered a wide range of national and international stories, including the opening of the Richard Nixon Library in 1990 and the 2000 Republication National Convention. In 1996, Vargas was the first reporter to interview Kevin Green, who was released from prison after serving 17 years for a murder he did not commit.

Her reporting has earned her several awards and honors, including recognition from the Orange County Press Club and the State Bar Association, and the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California’s Golden Mike Award.

On campus, Vargas has served on the advisory board of the Guardian Scholars program and chairs the 50th anniversary committee. In addition, she is a member of the board of directors for the Orangewood Children’s Foundation and a volunteer with AIDS Walk Orange County.

Universitywide ceremonies begin at 8 a.m. both days on the sports fields north of Titan Gym. College and department celebrations will follow at various locations throughout campus.

Robert Reich
Robert B. Reich
Vikki Vargas
Vikki Vargas
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