UC Davis Commencements Feature Distinguished Speakers

A composite of eight guest speakers for spring 2022 commencements
Guest speakers at UC Davis’ spring commencements are, from left to right and top to bottom, Stacy Boulware Eurie, Roxann Brooks Motroni, Alfred S. Chuang, Christopher Edley Jr., Aron King, Laura Lindenfeld, Francisco Rodriguez and Jackie Speier.

Leaders in fields ranging from law to public service and science communication — most of them alumni — will be among the guest speakers at the 10 spring commencements of the University of California, Davis, this week through June 12.


Larger commencements are each expected to draw about 12,500 people and impact campus parking and traffic.

Whether you're going to a ceremony or coming to campus for a regular workday or other reasons, organizers encourage advance planning. Transportation Services provides helpful information for:

Weekday ceremonies include May 13 and 27, and June 8 at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts; June 9 at the Mondavi Center and University Credit Union Center; and June 10 at UC Davis Health Stadium. 

This is the first full, in-person commencement season for UC Davis since the pandemic began and introduces changes that consolidate seven undergraduate ceremonies into three and move them outside.

Guest speakers are:

  • Judge Stacy Boulware Eurie of the Sacramento County Superior Court, Saturday
  • Roxann Brooks Motroni, national program leader for Animal Health at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, May 27
  • Christopher Edley Jr., interim dean of the Graduate School of Education and the Honorable William H. Orrick Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law at UC Berkeley, June 8 
  • Aron King, a registered nurse and assistant manager at UC Davis Health, June 9
  • Laura Lindenfeld, executive director of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and dean of the School of Communication and Journalism at Stony Brook University, June 9
  • Francisco Rodriguez, chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District, June 10
  • U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-California), June 11
  • Alfred S. Chuang, founder and chairman of Magnet Systems Inc. and general partner in Race Capital, June 12
Stacy Boulware Eurie
Boulware Eurie

Boulware Eurie, who is a 1995 alumna of the School of Law, will deliver the commencement address at the school’s ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. Appointed to the Superior Court of California in 2007, Boulware Eurie was the county court’s presiding juvenile court judge from 2010 to 2018. In 2014, she created a nationally recognized trauma-informed and multidisciplinary court docket for youth who had been commercially sexually exploited. Eurie is a member of the Judicial Council of California and the California Child Welfare Council. For more, see the law school’s announcement.

Roxann Brooks Motroni
Brooks Motroni

Brooks Motroni, who earned a doctoral degree in comparative pathology in 2012 and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2013 from UC Davis, will speak at the School of Veterinary Medicine commencement at 3:30 p.m. May 27, at the Mondavi Center. As a doctoral student, she was integral to the UC Davis team that developed a vaccine against the economically devastating foothill abortion disease in cattle. Today, Brooks Motroni provides strategic direction and national coordination for U.S. Department of Agriculture’s intramural research program focused on bacterial and parasitic diseases important to animal health. She is also involved in coordinating and communicating the agency’s research in antimicrobial resistance, planning the transition to the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility and leading workforce development efforts. She raises beef cattle and mentors pre-vet and veterinary students.

CHristopher Edley Jr.
Edley Jr.

Edley will speak at the School of Education’s graduation ceremony at 4 p.m. June 8, at the Mondavi Center. A former dean of Berkeley Law, he has spent more than 40 years teaching law and influencing public policy. Edley has worked on six presidential campaigns, two presidential transitions and two White House staffs. He co-chaired the National Commission on Education Equity and Excellence from 2011 to 2013. In 2016, Edley co-founded the Opportunity Institute to advance social mobility and equity from early childhood to early career.

Aron King

King, who earned a master’s degree in nursing science and health care leadership from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis last year and will begin doctoral studies there this fall, will speak at the school’s commencement at 10 a.m. June 9 at the Mondavi Center. He is co-author of the 2021 book The Diaries of a Resilient Black Nurse: An Anthology of Struggles and Achievements of Black Nurses in America. King serves on the executive board for the Capitol City Black Nurses Association, a local chapter of the National Black Nurses Association, and is a co-chair for the health committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Sacramento.

Laura Lindenfeld

Lindenfeld, who received a doctorate in cultural studies from UC Davis in 2003, will speak at the Graduate Studies commencement at 3 p.m. June 9, in the University Credit Union Center. She oversees the Alda Center, which provides international leadership in conducting and connecting research to practice for effective science communication and has trained more than 20,000 scientists. As a communication researcher, she seeks to understand how to support effective stakeholder engagement and communicate science more effectively and persuasively.

Francisco Rodriguez

Rodriguez, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Chicano studies in 1985 and a master’s degree in community development in 1997 from UC Davis, will address the first of the undergraduate commencements at 8 a.m. June 10, in UC Davis Health Stadium. He has served public higher education in California for more than 30 years. Rodriguez has championed policies that expand access to higher education and financial aid, and advocated for undocumented and low-income students and students with disabilities. He has promoted diversity, equity and inclusion for underrepresented communities, with a particular emphasis on young Latino and African American males.

Jackie Speier

Speier, who graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1972, will address the second undergraduate commencement at 8 a.m. June 11, at UC Davis Health Stadium. Retiring after 14 years representing San Mateo and San Francisco counties, Speier leaves a legacy as an advocate for women’s rights and mental health reform, along with a powerful story of resiliency as a survivor of the 1978 Jonestown massacre.

Alfred S. Chuang

Chuang, who was awarded a master’s degree in computer science from UC Davis in 1986, will speak at the third undergraduate commencement at 8 a.m. June 12 at UC Davis Health Stadium. An entrepreneur and venture investor, Chuang led BEA Systems Inc. to acquisition by Oracle for about $8.5 billion. Later, he founded and became chairman of Magnet Systems Inc., a mobile and web platform company. Race Capital invests early in companies and works closely with their founders.

Ceremonies may also feature faculty and student speakers.

Commencement calendar

The university will recognize thousands of graduates with undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees as well as certificates in fields ranging from the biological sciences to the humanities. Under the new format for undergraduate ceremonies, planned for introduction in spring 2020, what had grown to seven ceremonies organized by the four undergraduate colleges become three, and they will be moved from an indoor facility to the larger UC Davis Health Stadium.

Following is a list of all commencements:

  • School of Medicine — 10 a.m. Friday, Mondavi Center
  • School of Law — 11 a.m. Saturday, Mondavi Center
  • School of Veterinary Medicine — 3:30 p.m. May 27, Mondavi Center
  • School of Education — 4 p.m. June 8, Mondavi Center
  • Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing — 10 a.m. June 9, Mondavi Center
  • Graduate Studies — 3 p.m. June 9, University Credit Union Center
  • Three undergraduate ceremonies — 8 a.m. June 10-12, UC Davis Health Stadium
  • Graduate School of Management — 3 p.m. June 11, University Credit Union Center

More information

In addition, 10 campus communities will hold graduation celebrations from May 23 to June 12. More information on these events and the commencements, including ticket requirements for admission to most commencements, is available on the commencement website.

Many commencements will be shown live through the commencement homepage and on demand at Commencement Archives.

In 2020-21, UC Davis conferred 9,852 bachelor’s, 561 professional, 1,022 master’s and 472 doctoral degrees.

Media Resources

Media Contact:


Primary Category

Secondary Categories

Dateline Student Life