2014 Commencement Keynote Speaker
San Diego, Calif. – June 4, 2014 – Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, an Army veteran and four-time recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal who has dedicated her career to empowering the next generation of leaders to succeed in today’s global marketplace, will be keynote speaker at the National University commencement ceremony June 11 at the San Diego Convention Center.
Lt. Col. Kickbusch, the founder of Educational Achievement Services, Inc., served 22 years in the military where she broke barriers by becoming the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in the Combat Support Field of the U.S. and received the Legion of Merit and the National Defense Service Medal. Among her many other recognitions, she was named among the “100 Most Influential Hispanics in America” by Hispanic Business magazine, and in 2005 received the prestigious National Mujer Award from the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI), among many other recognitions.
“We are honored to have Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch join us as our keynote speaker for this year’s National University commencement activities since we believe strongly in her mission of empowering communities through education,” said National University President Dr. Michael Cunningham. “Her story serves as an inspiring reminder to our diverse student population of the exciting future that awaits them as they take on leadership roles in their own communities.”
Approximately 1,900 graduates of California’s second-largest private nonprofit university are expected to attend this June’s commencement ceremonies, representing the more than 2,800 qualified graduates from campuses throughout the Southwest. Lt. Col. Kickbusch also participated as keynote speaker at National University’s Northern California commencement ceremony in April, attended by 395 graduates.
Raised along the Texas border by immigrant parents, Lt. Col. Kickbusch joined the U.S. Army as an officer after graduating from Hardin Simmons University. When the opportunity arose to assume a command post, she opted instead to retire and dedicate her life to being a community leader. Throughout her career, Lt. Col. Kickbusch has shared her personal knowledge on becoming an effective leader in today’s global marketplace with hundreds of schools, colleges, universities, corporations, and government institutions both in the U.S. and abroad. As part of her outreach, she has worked with countless children, parents and educators all over the country.
National University has been recognized for its diverse student population as well as for its support of veteran students through its Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success, making Lt. Col Kickbusch’s story particularly applicable to graduates. Half of the June graduating group includes students who self-identify as Hispanic, African American or Asian, and about 20 percent of the graduates are active or prior service military.
About National University
Founded in 1971, National University is the second-largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California. With 30,000 students and more than 180,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Five schools and one college – the College of Letters and Sciences; the School of Business and Management; the School of Education; the School of Engineering, Technology and Media; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer 133 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials. Programs are offered at more than 45 locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California.
Director of Public Relations