SMC Superintendent/Pres. Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery will be the keynote speaker at the birthday celebration for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Photo courtesy of SMC.

The following is a press release put out by Santa Monica College.

Santa Monica College Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery will be the keynote speaker at the birthday celebration for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 16, at the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Auditorium, 525 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica.

The free event – one of the largest and most diverse celebrations of its kind in Southern California – is scheduled for 9 a.m. The event is presented by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition, a nonprofit coalition whose mission is consistent with King’s legacy. Event co-sponsors are the City of Santa Monica, SGI-USA, Santa Monica College, the SMC Associates, the RAND Corporation, CityTV-Santa Monica, and a variety of other organizations, individuals, and corporate contributors.

This year’s celebration marks the event’s 32nd anniversary and embraces the theme “Stand Against Injustice.” The multi-ethnic, interfaith program will include inspirational readings, speakers, music—including a performance by the SMC Emeritus Gospel Choir—and the Education Awards. Immediately following the program, a Community Involvement Fair offering refreshments and informational displays by a variety of community organizations will be held nearby at the Grand Pavilion of St. Monica’s Church, 701 California Ave., Santa Monica.

Before arriving at Santa Monica College, Dr. Jeffery served as President of Sacramento City College; as President of Hennepin Technical College in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and as Provost/Chief Campus Administrator at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. She was also Vice President of Columbia College in the Yosemite Community College District; Dean for Faculty and Staff Diversity/Development; and Dean for Student Services at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

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With more than three decades of experience in the field of education – as a professor, counselor, and administrator – Dr. Jeffery is a passionate advocate for higher education with a focus on a student-centered approach to leadership and decision-making. She is a classical musician, with a Bachelor of Music Education from Oklahoma State University (OSU), where she majored in piano, and minored in voice. Dr. Jeffery has earned a Ph.D. in Educational Administration with an emphasis in Community College Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin.