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Commencement Speaker Announced for 2018 Ceremony

Julián Castro, Former HUD Secretary and Former Mayor of San Antonio, TX to Address New England College 71st Commencement Graduates.

Julián Castro, Former HUD Secretary and Former Mayor of San Antonio, TX

Julián Castro, Former HUD Secretary and Former Mayor of San Antonio, TX

President Michele D. Perkins announced today that the Honorable Julián Castro, Dean’s Distinguished Fellow and Fellow of the Dávila Chair in International Trade Policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and founder of Opportunity First, will serve as New England College’s Commencement 2018 speaker on May 12, 2018. Previously, Castro served as the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017 and as mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014.

“I am delighted that Secretary Castro has agreed to serve as this year’s featured Commencement speaker,” said Perkins. “He is a national leader and educator who launched his public service career in 2001, becoming San Antonio’s youngest councilman. His personal story, which includes being a student who relied on Pell grants and scholarships to pay for his education, is one that will resonate strongly with our students,” Perkins added.

Secretary Castro launched into the national arena with his keynote address – the first by a Latino – at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Earlier this year, he announced the formation of Opportunity First, a political action committee supporting young, progressive candidates for local, state and federal office. Secretary Castro is currently working on a memoir to be published by Little, Brown and Company in the fall of 2018.

In March 2010, Castro was named to the World Economic Forum’s list of Young Global Leaders. Later that year, Time magazine placed him on its “40 under 40” list of rising stars in American politics. Previously, Secretary Castro was an attorney and worked at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP before starting his own practice.

Secretary Castro received a BA from Stanford University in 1996, and a JD from Harvard Law School in 2000. He and his wife, Erica Lira Castro, an elementary school educator, have two children. The family lives in San Antonio, Texas.

During the New England College Commencement Ceremony Secretary Castro will receive an honorary degree, Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, from the Board of Trustees in recognition of his career achievements and professional success.