Basketball legend, bestselling author, activist and cultural icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will deliver the keynote commencement address to Loyola Marymount University’s undergraduates on May 11, and business and community leader Maria Salinas will address graduates on May 12, 2019.
Abdul-Jabbar is best known for his dominant career in the NBA, where he won six championships, was named MVP six times, and was a 19-time All-Star while playing for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. He remains the NBA record-holder for most career points scored and games won.
Off the court, Abdul-Jabbar’s wide range of pursuits has led to a towering and enduring legacy as a celebrated filmmaker, author, and educational ambassador. He has written or co-authored more than a dozen books, including memoirs, nonfiction, young adult fiction, and graphic novels, several of them best-sellers. As an activist, and columnist for TIME magazine, he’s tackled racism, gun control, police violence, religious intolerance and misogyny, among other topics.
In 2011, Abdul-Jabbar was awarded the Double Helix Medal for his work in raising awareness for cancer research. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named Abdul-Jabbar a cultural ambassador for the United States in 2012, and in 2016 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor by President Obama.
The university announced that Maria Salinas ’87, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, will speak at LMU’s graduate Commencement Exercises.
In August 2018, Salinas became the first woman and Latina to lead the L.A. Area Chamber in its 130-year history. The Chamber serves more than 1,600 member companies and the interests of more than 235,000 businesses across the L.A. region. Salinas, an accomplished community leader and entrepreneur, previously founded Salinas Consulting, a finance and accounting consultancy firm. Prior to that, she held financial leadership roles at The Walt Disney Company. She began her career in public accounting with Ernst & Young and Kenneth Leventhal & Company.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in accounting from LMU and is chair of the university’s Board of Regents. Salinas has served numerous esteemed civic and nonprofit organizations and has been recognized for her leadership and community service.
More than 1,600 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees will be conferred at the Saturday ceremony, and more than 700 graduate degrees will be conferred on Sunday. LMU graduates in the class of 2019 come from 43 U.S. states and 30 countries.
Both commencement ceremonies will be streamed live at www.lmu.edu/commencement.