At the May 2011 Commencement Ceremony, Pomona College President David W. Oxtoby, awarded Judy Burton the degree of Doctor of Education from Pomona College.
In introducing Judy, the speaker stated, "Now, perhaps more than ever, we need creative, we need committed, we need community centered people willing to work within our schools advocating for our youth. Candidate for an honorary degree, Judy Burton, is doing just that."
Judy shared the following sentiments in her remarks, "Every single day that I get up and go to work, I have the honor and the privilege of serving students and families in communities that are among the most challenging communities in Los Angeles -- communities where historically kids not only do not go to college, but don't graduate from high school. I also have the honor and privilege of working with teachers and principals who believe that's not right and who are willing to roll up their sleeves and make the commitment and do whatever it takes to prove to these students and families that they can learn, they can achieve, they can graduate high school and they can enter colleges such as Pomona College."
She went on to say, "You see, I believe that the civil rights issue of our time is access to a quality public education."
To watch the entire introduction and speech, click here.
Honorary degrees were also conferred upon Steven Chu, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy; Edwin Krupp, Astronomer and Director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles; and Douglas Preston, a journalist and best-selling author.