Former U.S. Under Secretary of Education to Speak at Saddleback College Commencement Ceremony

For Immediate Release: 
April 3, 2018

Saddleback College has announced Martha Kanter as its 2018 commencement speaker.  Kanter, the former U.S. Under Secretary of Education in the Obama administration, now serves as Executive Director of the College Promise Campaign and Senior Fellow at the Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy at New York University.  The campaign is dedicated to the mission of ensuring college opportunity by supporting the development and expansion of College Promise programs in more than 200 communities and 16 states in our nation.
Kanter will join Saddleback College students, their families, college faculty and staff on Thursday, May 24th at 9 am on the interior quad of the campus, as the college celebrates student achievement and recognizes faculty accomplishments.  “I am beyond thrilled that Martha will be inspiring our students on one of the most memorable days of their lives.  Martha, a long-time mentor, will encourage our students' desire to move forward on their chosen path and contribute to the betterment of society,” said Saddleback College President, Gregory Anderson.
As someone who has dedicated her life to the education of others, Kanter is steadfastly committed to educating every student and impacting public policy to do so.  “Our success as a country depends on the opportunities students can harness to move beyond a high school education.  Saddleback College students earning a certificate or 2-year degree have delineated a pathway that impacts them and their families for the foreseeable future, and I am so pleased to be able to celebrate this milestone with them,” stated Kanter.
The outdoor commencement ceremony will also feature student speakers and faculty recognition awards. 

About Martha Kanter
Kanter joined the College Promise Campaign after nearly five years as the U.S. Under Secretary of Education, a position to which she was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009. 

Earlier in her career Kanter served as Chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District and President of De Anza College for a 16 year span, noting that even today as at that time, both Foothill and De Anza Colleges remain as two of the top transfer institutions to public and private universities in California and the nation. She also led bond campaigns totaling more than a billion dollars to improve student access and opportunity to world-class campus facilities in Silicon Valley, including three state-of-the-art math, science and advanced technology centers. She is most proud of hiring and supporting an extraordinary faculty and staff to meet the demands of a changing demography, economy, and civic future of the communities she served. 

Dr. Kanter earned her B.A. in Sociology from Brandeis University and her M.Ed. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology and Public Practice from Harvard University. In 1989, Dr. Kanter earned her Ed.D. in Higher Education from the University of San Francisco. She has earned numerous local, state and national awards over the years from government, education, business and philanthropic organizations.

About Saddleback College
Located in Mission Viejo, Saddleback College provides dynamic, innovative, and student-centered postsecondary education and training to the greater south Orange County community.  Having served more than 665,000 students since 1968, Saddleback College offers more than 300 renowned degree, certificate, transfer, and lifelong learning programs to help students succeed in reaching their personal and career goals.  For more information, please visit