Wednesday, July 20, 2011

California Commencement Honors Fallen Officer; Mayor Quan to Speak

Union will present a new graduate with the Sergeant Mark Dunakin Award for Extraordinary Achievement

SACRAMENTO, CA – Students from Union Institute & University’s (UI&U) Sacramento and Los Angeles Academic Centers will converge July 24th at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple in Sacramento to participate in the Union Institute & University California Commencement. The new graduates have earned undergraduate or graduate degrees from the private, non-profit university that, since 1964, has provided higher education opportunities for adult learners. The Honorable Mayor Jean Quan, the first woman and first Asian-American to be elected mayor of Oakland, will deliver the keynote address.

The commencement also marks the inauguration of the Mark Dunakin Award for Extraordinary Achievement, to be presented at the California Commencement each year to a law enforcement officer and graduate of the university’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management program. The award, given to an officer who represents the best in his or her field, was established in honor of Mark Dunakin, a sergeant with the Oakland Police Department and graduate of the Sacramento Academic Center’s CJM program, who was killed in the line of duty in Oakland in March of 2009.

Mayor Quan was elected to her current position after serving for eight years and two terms on Oakland's City Council. Throughout her public service career, she has championed several public safety initiatives. As a city council member she expanded neighborhood crime prevention programs, CORE (Citizens Organized to Respond to Emergencies) training, and added new services for sexually exploited minors and victims of domestic violence.

“As an advocate for public safety and higher education in Oakland and beyond, Mayor Quan’s participation at our California commencement is a testament to Sergeant Dunakin and the valuable work our students and alumni in California do every day to uplift and improve their neighborhoods and to keep residents safe,” said Dr. Roger H. Sublett, president of Union Institute & University. “Mayor Quan shares Union’s commitment to empowering lives and communities. We are deeply honored that she will serve as our commencement speaker.”

Union Institute & University’s California Commencement will begin at 11 a.m., July 24, at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, 6151 H Street, in Sacramento. For more information contact Nicole Hamilton, PR Manager, at, or at 513-487-1194.

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