Whittier College News Release


Office of Public Relations
13406 Philadelphia St.
P.O. Box 634
Whittier, CA  90608-0634

May 7, 2003    
Reference: 02/03: 78         

Contact:  Caye Brundage Riley  at (562) 907-4974

U.S. Treasurer to Speak at Whittier College Commencement 

          United States Treasurer Rosario Marin will be the keynote speaker at Whittier College’s 100th commencement on Friday, May 23, in Memorial Stadium on campus.  The ceremony begins at 9 a.m.

          Marin will be awarded an honorary degree during the ceremonies, as will Alice Newsom, community leader and widow of the late W. Roy Newsom, former president of Whittier College; Charles Johnson, author of “Middle Passage” and “Dreamer” and winner of the National Book Award in 1990; Daniel Schorr, veteran broadcast journalist, author and lecturer; and Lisbeth Schorr, child and family policy analyst, author and educator.

          Marin was sworn in as the 41st treasurer of the United States on Aug. 16, 2001.  She is the first Mexican-born woman to be appointed to the post and is the highest-ranking Latina serving in President George W. Bush’s administration.

          Before her appointment as treasurer, Marin served as mayor of Huntington Park, Calif., and as a member of the city council.  She was first elected to the city council in 1994 and re-elected in 1999.  While serving the citizens of Huntington Park, Marin worked for AT&T as public relations manager for the Hispanic market in the Southern California region.

          Previously, she served as deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Community Relations in Los Angeles under Pete Wilson.  Prior to that, Marin served as assistant deputy director of the California State Department of Social Services.  In addition, she served as the chair of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities and previously was chief of legislative affairs for the Department of Developmental Services.

          Because her son, Eric, has Down’s Syndrome, Marin became involved in serving the needs of people with disabilities.  She has received numerous awards for her work in this area, including the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Prize at the United Nations in 1995.  Marin was only the second recipient to receive this honor.  In addition, she was the only publicly elected official to receive the Excellence in Public Service Award at the 2000 Latino Perspectives Conference.

          Charles Johnson, who is the S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Washington, gained prominence when his novel “Middle Passage” won the National Book Award in 1990.  He was the first African-American man to win the National Book Award since Ralph Ellison.  Recently, he won the Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature.  “Middle Passage”—like his other works of fiction—embodies his controversial vision of black literature, defined in his non-fiction work “Being and Race:  Black Writing Since 1970,” as “a fiction of increasing artistic and intellectual growth, one that enables us as a people—as a culture—to move from narrow complaint to broad celebration.”

          Johnson began his career as a cartoonist and saw his work published by the time he was 17.  His two collections of cartoons were acclaimed for their subtle and pointed satire of race relations.  In 1971, that success led to “Charlie’s Pad,” a series on public television that Johnson created, co-produced, and hosted.

          His first novel, “Faith and the Good Thing,” was published in 1974 when Johnson was studying for his Ph.D. in phenomenology and literary aesthetics.  He is also the author of “Oxherding Tale.”

          Johnson has been on the faculty at the University of Washington since 1977.  In addition to his novels, Johnson has written numerous chapters for other books, articles for the scholarly and popular press, short stories, screenplays, and reviews.

          Alice Newsom was the wife and partner of the late W. Roy Newsom ’34, who had a 40-year career at the college as a student, professor, administrator and president.  Newsom is a tireless supporter of Whittier College and a longtime member of what used to be a faculty wives (and campus women) organization called Quaker Campus Women.  She served as president and hosted many meetings at her home.  She is also a longtime member of the Women’s Auxiliary, a group that provides scholarship and other financial support for the college.

          The center of a “Whittier family,” Newsom is the mother of graduates Herbert C. Newsom ’53, Janine (Newsom) Lyons ’66, and Nina (Newsom) Gilchrist ’69, and mother-in-law to trustee Rick Gilchrist ’68.  Two of her grandchildren, David Newsom ’78 and Cynthia (Newsom) Cavallero ’80, attended Whittier.  

          Newsom has been called the matriarch of Whittier College and is credited with fostering the warm, open, and compassionate campus culture that the campus enjoys today.  The W. Roy and Alice Newsom Endowed Scholarship was established by friends and faculty after Roy retired in 1979.

          Daniel Schorr, award-winning broadcast journalist, author and lecturer, is presently a senior news analyst with National Public Radio (NPR).  Daniel Schorr’s career as a journalist spans six decades and includes print, television, and radio.  He joined CBS in 1953 as part of Edward R. Murrow’s team and was with CBS through 1976, working both in the United States and abroad.  While with CBS, he reopened the Moscow Bureau and later served as bureau chief for Germany and Eastern Europe.  In 1972 Daniel Schorr became CBS’ chief Watergate correspondent, for which he earned three Emmys.  He joined Cable News Network in 1980 and served in Washington, D.C., as senior correspondent until 1985.  Since that time, Daniel Schorr has worked primarily for NPR.

          In addition to his Emmy Awards, Daniel Schorr has received numerous other awards, including the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Golden Baton for “Exceptional Contributions to Radio and Television Reporting and Commentary.”  Other awards include a George Foster Peabody award for “a lifetime of uncompromising reporting of the highest integrity,” the George Polk radio commentary award for “interpretations of national and international events,” and the Distinguished Service Award of the American Society of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications.  He has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Society of Professional Journalists.

          Daniel Schorr is the author of four books: “Clearing the Air,” “Don’t Get Sick in America!” “Forgive Us Our Press Passes,” and “Staying Tuned: A Life in Journalism.”

          Lisbeth Schorr, lecturer in social medicine at Harvard University, is a nationally recognized authority on effective means of improving the future of disadvantaged children, their families, and their neighborhoods.  She is director of Harvard’s Project on

Effective Interventions and the Pathways Mapping Initiative, and she co-chairs the Aspen Institute’s Roundtable on Comprehensive Community Initiatives for Children and Families.

          Lisbeth Schorr is the author of two widely acclaimed books, “Within Our Reach:  Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage,” published in 1988, and “Common Purpose:  Strengthening Families and Neighborhoods to Rebuild America,” published in 1997.  “Within Our Reach” analyzed social programs that succeeded in improving the future for disadvantaged children and their families and neighborhoods.  When it became clear that the successful programs cited in “Within Our Reach” were scarce, underfunded, and rarely built upon, Lisbeth Schorr embarked on research that led to “Common Purpose,” in which she advocates acting strategically and focusing on results in order to strengthen children and families and rebuild communities.

          Lisbeth Schorr has held leadership positions in many of the major national efforts on behalf of children and youth, including the National Center for Children in Poverty, the National Academy of Science’s Board on Children and Families, the ECS National Commission on Governing America’s Schools, and the foundation for Child Development.  She is on the board of Eureka Communities and is a member of the Brookings Children’s Roundtable, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Selection Committee for the Ford Foundation/Kennedy School Awards for Innovations in American Government.

          Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional programs taught in the context of the liberal arts.  Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Costa Mesa. 

Whittier College Office of Communications
13406 Philadelphia » P.O. Box 634 » Whittier, CA 90608-0634
Tel: (562) 907-4213 » Fax: (562) 907-4927

communications@whittier.edu