COM Welcomes Social Justice Leader Bettie Hodges as 2017 Honored Commencement Speaker
Social justice leader Bettie Hodges will be the honored speaker at College of Marin’s (COM) 90th Annual Commencement Ceremony. Currently the executive director of the Hannah Project in Marin City, Ms. Hodges is a local educator, activist, philanthropic professional, and community development specialist whose professional career spans more than 30 years.
Born in Marin, Ms. Hodges parents were part of the Great Migration of Blacks who fled the South in search of freedom and opportunity in the North and West. Her lifelong residence in Marin City and long-term commitment to social justice and civic responsibility reflect the hopes, dreams, and mores that were fostered in a home environment filled with parental love, nurturing, and great expectations.
As program officer for Housing and Community Development at the Marin Community Foundation, Ms. Hodges’ philanthropic and community development expertise was instrumental in the development of projects that increased Marin County’s low- and moderate-income housing stock by over 1,000 housing units. Elsewhere in the county, her funding recommendations led to the development of Hamilton, as well as houseboat communities in southern Marin. Her grants management brought about the creation of the Thriving Families Initiative, Marin Grassroots Leadership Network, and a $10 million affordable housing trust fund.
In 2006, Ms. Hodges chartered The Hannah Project Partnership, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides academic and cultural educational programs to Marin County at-risk youth. As executive director, she has secured grant and donation support allowing her to provide more than $320,000 in college scholarships to Marin City students—the majority of whom are the first in their families to attend college. Ten scholars have graduated college since the inception of the Dream Keeper Scholarship Program in 2008, and the Hannah Project is currently providing financial support and guidance to twenty-eight local young people enrolled in post-secondary institutions across the United States. In addition, the Hannah Project Partnership offers weekly tutorial assistance to middle and high school students as well as a college preparatory program for high school seniors.
Ms. Hodges has demonstrated unfaltering dedication to advancing the well-being of Marin County’s low-income residents through civic engagement, marshalling of resources, policy development, as well as program design and administration.
Both Ms. Hodges and COM share in their dedication to ensuring that equitable opportunities are provided for all members of Marin County's diverse community. The College is honored that she has chosen to share her inspiring story with the class of 2017.
COM’s 90th Annual Commencement Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 26, 2017, at 6 p.m. in the Irwin P. Diamond Physical Education Center, 700 College Avenue, Kentfield.
Visit the commencement website for more information.
About College of Marin
Established in 1926, College of Marin remains committed to educational excellence, providing equitable opportunities, and fostering success in all members of its diverse community. With campuses in Kentfield and Novato, students of all ages have affordable access to an exciting variety of credit and noncredit courses as well as community education classes for lifelong learning. College of Marin is one of 113 public community colleges in California and approximately 13,000 credit, noncredit, and community education students enroll annually.
College of Marin is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Boulevard, Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.