Largest class to earn bachelor’s degrees 69-year-old graduating speaker is counseling addicts

no rx arial, case sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;”>California Lutheran University will hold its 2016 Undergraduate Commencement honoring a record number of degree recipients at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 14.

An estimated 841 students are eligible to participate in the ceremony in William Rolland Stadium. Of those, 763 are traditional undergraduate students, making for the largest-ever graduating class with about 20 percent more graduates than last year’s record-setting group.

Pia Jacoby, a Camarillo grandmother graduating cum laude with a degree in psychology 51 years after earning her high school diploma, will speak on behalf of about 78 Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals students. The 69-year-old Leisure Village resident will be the first in her family to earn a college degree. Jacoby attended college off and on for two years right after graduating from a Van Nuys high school. After 12 years in advertising, she started a roofing consulting business with her husband. She later found her passion helping people kick addiction, when a close family member struggled with drugs. She studied addiction at Pierce College and became a certified addiction treatment counselor before transferring to Cal Lutheran. Jacoby is currently an intake specialist for an alcohol and drug abuse treatment program. She plans to begin Cal Lutheran’s master’s degree program in marriage and family therapy in the fall.

Another first-generation college student, Dalia Flores of Thousand Oaks, will speak on behalf of her fellow traditional undergraduate degree recipients. She is graduating cum laude and with departmental distinction with a degree in criminal justice and minors in political science and sociology. Originally from Los Osos, she became an active member of the Cal Lutheran campus as a student ambassador, peer adviser and student government representative. She served as president of the Student Philanthropy Council and student supervisor of the Annual Fund’s phonathon. She belongs to Alpha Phi Sigma, the criminal justice honor society.

Rod Gilbert, a 12-year member of Cal Lutheran’s Board of Regents, will receive an Honorary Alumni Award. The Camarillo resident served as the board’s president from 2012 to 2015. He has been a member of many committees and served on the one guiding building projects on the growing campus since 2003. Although he is no longer a regent, he continues to support the university and advise the president. Gilbert is the president of Camarillo-based TOLD Corp., a commercial real estate developer and asset manager. He has served on the boards of 23 privately held companies and nonprofit mutual benefit corporations. The former chair of the Museum of Ventura County Board of Directors was honored as the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year in March.

Tickets are required for admission. For more information, call the Office of Academic Affairs at 805-493-3364.


Pia Jacoby


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