Dr. Jolene Koester, president of California State University at Northridge, will be the speaker at Santa Monica College’s 79th commencement exercises Tuesday, June 16th.

Cal State Northridge is one of the top destinations for SMC transfer students, with 592 going to the San Fernando Valley campus last year.

Koester earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, a master’s in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. in speech communication from the University of Minnesota.

Koester, who has been Cal State Northridge president since 2000, has had a long and distinguished career in academia. Before arriving at CSUN, she served in several administrative posts at Sacramento State University and as a communication studies professor.

The CSUN president serves on the boards of several organizations in the Valley and the greater Los Angeles area, including the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley. She has also been active in many higher education organizations.

Approximately 600 students are expected to receive their Associate of Arts degrees at the SMC graduation ceremony, scheduled for 6 p.m. at Corsair Field, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica.