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Honorary Degree Recipient and Commencement Speaker

The honorary degree recipient and commencement speaker for the Graduate School’s Spring 2015 Commencement Ceremony is Luz Vega-Marquis. Ms. Vega-Marquis will be receiving an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Public Service.

Luz Vega-Marquis is president and CEO of Marguerite Casey Foundation, where she oversees a $700 million endowment and $35 million grantmaking budget. She has positioned the foundation as a leader in movement building by shaping its grantmaking and communications to support a movement of poor and low-income families. The foundation invests in organizations that put families at the forefront of fighting poverty and working together across issues, race, regions and egos.


In 2008, the foundation and its grantees launched Equal Voice for America’s Families. The campaign mobilized more than 30,000 families and approximately 250 organizations and resulted in a multi-issue national family platform. In September 2014, the foundation launched Equal Voice Action, an independent organization that elevates the voices of low-income families through activism.


Before becoming president in 2001, she was executive director of the Community Technology Foundation of California; vice president and COO at the National Economic Development and Law Center; and grants director at the James Irvine Foundation.


She is founder of Hispanics in Philanthropy and a board member of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, Philanthropy Northwest and The Workers Lab. She received a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from Stanford University.