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UC Berkeley Press Release

Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown to address December UC Berkeley graduates

– Former state governor and Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown will be the keynote speaker at the December Graduates Convocation at the University of California, Berkeley, on Saturday, Dec. 11.

Approximately 200 students will don cap and gowns for the 11 a.m. ceremony in Zellerbach Auditorium. About 2,700 students will be graduating this month, but most December graduates choose to take part in larger graduation ceremonies in May.

Only graduates and their families are allowed to attend the ceremony and tickets are required. Tickets can be obtained through http://www.alumni.berkeley.edu/Students/Californians/December_Graduates_Convocation/main.asp.

Brown, who is currently in his second term as mayor and is running for state attorney general, received his B.A. in Latin and Greek from UC Berkeley in 1961 before going to Yale Law School.

Brown began his political career in 1970 when he was elected California's secretary of state, then served two terms as governor. He left the political arena for several years after a failed 1982 bid for U.S. Senate, working briefly with Mother Teresa in India and as a lawyer in Los Angeles. In 1989, he became chairman of the state Democratic party.

Brown quit a few years later, citing problems with money's influence in politics. He ran an unorthodox campaign for president in 1992 -- accepting donations of only up to $100 and using an 800 number to raise money -- and beat Bill Clinton in primaries in Maine, Colorado, Vermont, Connecticut, Utah and Nevada. After that, he had a radio show called "We the People," which aired until 1997, when he ran for Oakland mayor.

The student speaker at the convocation will be Aaron McDaniel, who is graduating with a B.S. in business administration from the Haas School of Business. While at UC Berkeley, he taught a two-unit course on leadership through de-Cal, a student-run educational organization; was co-founder of Students for Leadership at Cal; and served as president of both the Freshman Sophomore Business Club and Delta Sigma Pi, a co-ed professional fraternity.

There is a reception on Zellerbach Hall's mezzanine after the ceremony for graduates and their guests.