Basketball legend, bestselling author, activist and cultural icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will speak as the 2019 undergraduate commencement speaker on Saturday. Alternately, LMU alumna and CEO and president of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Maria Salinas (‘87), will be speaking as the 2019 graduate commencement speaker on Sunday.

Here are some fast facts to get to know your speakers.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

  • Played for Milwaukee Bucks (‘69-’74) and Los Angeles Lakers (‘75-'89) (Source: NBA)
  • 19-Time All-Star player and 6-Time NBA MVP (Source: NBA)
  • All-time highest-scoring NBA player scoring 38,387 points in his career
  • Appointed as a Global Cultural Ambassador by Hillary Clinton in 2012
  • Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2016
  • Chairman of the Skyhook Foundation, which provides STEM education opportunities for underserved communities
  • Raised over $3 million while receiving the Double Helix Medal in 2011 at the Double Helix Awards dinner to expand Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's research and education programs that focus on cancer research
  • NY Times best-selling author who has written 15 books, two memoirs and an Emmy Award-winning HBO sports documentary

“You can't win unless you learn how to lose.” — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Maria Salinas

  • LMU alumna, class of 1987
  • As CEO and president of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, she represents an estimated workforce of 650,000 employees and an annual budget of $14 million.
  • Began her career post-graduation in public accounting at Ernst & Young and Kenneth Leventhal & Company
  • Held positions as Director and Controllership of the Consumer Products Division at Walt Disney Company for almost 11 years and Chairwoman and Founding Organizer of ProAmérica Bank for 10 years.

“We also have a story of great inequality. If we don’t solve this inequality problem, it will increasingly be an economic and national competitiveness problem.” — Maria Salinas (Source: LA Times)

Sammi Su is a Marketing freshman from West Covina, CA. In her free time, she loves exploring new food locations and creating videos with friends.

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