National Leaders Will Address
April 29, 3003 :: No. 217
Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona and Peace
Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez will address Cal State Fullerton’s
Class of 2003 as keynote speakers during the university’s
44th annual commencement ceremonies.
Carona will speak to candidates and their families
during the ceremony Saturday, May 31, and Vasquez will address the
Sunday, June 1, ceremony. Both events begin at 8 a.m. on the lawn
north of Titan Gymnasium, followed by college-based exercises.
Vaulted to national prominence last summer during
the manhunt for a child murderer, Orange County Sheriff Carona heads
the nation’s fifth largest sheriff’s department.
He was elected in 1998 and took office in January
1999. Last year, he was appointed by President Bush to the Emergency
Response Senior Advisory Committee for the Homeland Security Council.
He is among just 15 from the United States serving on the committee
and the only sheriff.
In addition to serving on the boards of directors
of numerous philanthropic organizations, Carona co-chairs the Amber
Alert Program and is an arbitrator for the New York and Pacific
stock exchanges. He was appointed to the California Student Aid
Fraud Assessment Commission by former Gov. Pete Wilson and appointed
chairman of the California Council on Criminal Justice by Gov. Gray
He is the recipient of many honors, including the
Law Enforcement Commendation Medal from the Sons of the American
Revolution. He was named Manager of the Year for Public Safety by
the Society for the Advancement of Management, Humanitarian of the
Year by the National Conference for the Community and Justice, and
Man of the Year by the Black Chamber of Commerce of Orange County.
Carona received the Bridge Builder Award from the Alliance for the
Mentally Ill of Orange County, the Visionary Award from the Orange
County Council of the Boy Scouts of America and President’s
Award from the California Psychiatric Association.
Carona is a strong advocate for issues relating to
young people and serves on the executive committee for the Blue
Ribbon Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse, has received the American
Hero Award from the Celebrity Foundation for Children, and co-authored
the book “Save My Son,” which proposes new models within
the criminal justice system to reclaim the lives of substance-abuse
Vasquez has served as director of the Peace Corps
since his 2002 appointment by Bush. His immediate goal for the 42-year-old
program is to double the number of volunteers by 2007 and increase
After graduating from the University of Redlands —
he was the first college graduate in his family — Vasquez
became, at the age of 19, the youngest police officer for the city
of Orange. Over the years, he served as an assistant to former Orange
County Supervisor Bruce Nestande and a regional manager and division
vice president for the Southern California Edison Co.
In addition, he has worked for former California governors
George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson and was appointed by Deukmejian
to the Orange County Board of Supervisors — the first Hispanic
to serve on the board. During his tenure, he championed such issues
as childcare, improved healthcare access, tourism and economic development.
In 1998, Wilson appointed Vasquez to the California
Council for the Humanities. The following year, Vasquez was appointed
by Davis to the Governor’s Task Force on Diversity.
Vasquez served on the advisory boards of Habitat for
Humanity and the Salvation Army, the board of directors for the
Orange County Council of the Boy Scouts of America and was secretary
of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
He also was a board member of Olive Crest, St. Joseph Hospital Foundation
His leadership and community service have been recognized
with numerous honors, including the Coro Foundation Crystal Eagle
Award, Marine Corps Scholarship Fund Globe and Anchor Award, Black
Chamber of Commerce of Orange County Award for Community Leadership,
Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award and B’nai B’rith
Award for Leadership and Community Service. Vasquez also was recognized
by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the
U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
||Mary Jo Medyn, Academic Affairs, 657-278-2615
Paula Selleck, Public Affairs, 657-278-4856 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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