CSUF News Service
'I See the Future of America'
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez Addresses May 18 Commencement
May 18, 2014
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (left) joined President Mildred García in the robing room before the main Commencement ceremony got underway at 8 a.m. Sunday, May 18.
The main commencement ceremony Sunday at Cal State Fullerton, attended by more than 30,00 seated on the campus athletics fields featured a keynote address by Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, currently serving her ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"I see a sea of people out there," she said as she acknowledged the graduates of each individual college and the two interns serving in her district office. "I see our future social workers and public servants. I see our healthcare professionals, philosophers, sociologists, scientists, communicators and artists, engineers and teachers and nurses. I see the future of America right out there!
"I want to tell you a story," she continued. "It's about a woman named Maria who came from a family of seven children in Mexico. When she arrived in Los Angeles many years ago, she met a Mexican man, married him and they had seven children of their own.
Maria worked at home and taught her children the value of an education. She worked at the snack shack so her sons could play Little League. She helped her daughters sell Girl Scout cookies. She cleaned houses on Saturdays to help her eldest son pay for his college education at USC. She exemplifies many of the immigrants who come to this country for better opportunities for their children.
"Then she decided to return to school to become a teacher. She made all her children come to her graduation. She wanted them to see what was possible. 'There are no excuses in America,' she'd say. She went on to become a public school teacher.
"Maria is my mother. And she is a Titan. The first college graduation I ever attended was hers — here at Cal State Fullerton. The administrators and faculty of Cal State Fullerton who kept her going …. I love Cal State Fullerton because it was a family to her. I'll tell you something else. Maria is the only mother in the United States to ever send two daughters to Congress. And the Titans are a family to you, too."
Addressing the Class of 2014, Sanchez said "the greatest secret in life" is "serving others," and offered special recognition to veterans and members of the military.
"Today, is the commencement of your future. ...You are the ones who will drive our nation and change the world!"
Sanchez, whose congressional career began in January 1997, is the second highest-ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee and ranking member of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee.
Sunday's address was her third at CSUF commencement ceremonies. Sanchez was a keynoter in 2002, along with Congressman Ed Royce, and in 1997, she was the guest speaker for the College of Human Development and Community Service exercise.